Palestinians say Israeli troops have withdrawn from Gaza’s main hospital after 2-week raid

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian residents say the Israeli military has withdrawn from Gaza’s main hospital after a two-week raid, leaving behind a vast swath of destruction.

Hundreds of people returned to Shifa Hospital and the surrounding area after the withdrawal early Monday, where they found bodies inside and outside of the facility.

There was no immediate comment from the military, which has described the raid as one of the most successful operations of the nearly six-month war. The army says it killed scores of Hamas and other militants, including senior operatives, and that it seized weapons and valuable intelligence.

Mohammed Mahdi, who was among those who returned, described a scene of “total destruction.” He said several buildings had been burned down. He counted six bodies in the area, including two in the hospital courtyard.

Another resident, Yahia Abu Auf, said there were still patients, medical workers and displaced people sheltering inside the medical compound. He said several patients had been taken to the nearby Ahli Hospital. He said army bulldozers had plowed over a makeshift cemetery inside the hospital compound.

“The situation is indescribable,” he said. “The occupation destroyed all sense of life here.”

Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals for military purposes and has raided several medical facilities. Critics accuse the army of recklessly endangering civilians and of decimating a health sector already overwhelmed with war wounded.

The military had previously raided Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, in November, after saying Hamas maintained an elaborate command and control center inside and beneath the compound. It revealed a tunnel running beneath the hospital that led to a few rooms.

The war began on Oct. 7, when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage. Israel responded with an air, land and sea offensive that has killed over 32,000 Palestinians, displaced most the territory’s population and driven a third of its residents to the brink of famine.


Magdy reported from Cairo.


Find more of AP’s war coverage at

Hello, My name is Ramveer Dhakar. I am a professional blog writer and working on since September 2021

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