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Friday, June 21, 2024

Israeli forces raided a major hospital in northern Gaza, forcing patients and staff to evacuate.

WorldIsraeli forces raided a major hospital in northern Gaza, forcing patients and staff to evacuate.

After a four-day blockade at Al Awda Hospital, a major medical center in northern Gaza, the Israeli military ordered patients and staff to evacuate on Wednesday and then raided the complex, according to Gazan health officials.

While most of the roughly 150 people who had been at Al Awda Hospital were able to evacuate, about 30, including patients in critical condition, their companions and medical workers, stayed behind, Dr. Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said in a statement on Thursday.

The Israeli military declined to comment on its operations around Al Awda, which is in the Tal Al-Zaatar area in northern Gaza. Israel withdrew from much of the north earlier in the year, but has recently returned to some areas to fight what it says are attempts by Hamas to reconstitute its forces there.

The hospital’s acting director, Dr. Mohammad Salha, said that he had told Israeli forces he would not move some critical patients without ambulances. He said he had remained there, along with a few medical workers, to ensure the safe evacuation of the patients.

“They are crushing everything, destroyed the doors,” said Dr. Salha. “They are checking every single centimeter of the hospital,” he added in a voice message from inside the hospital early Thursday morning.

Naji Ziadeh, a member of the hospital’s administrative staff, said those at the hospital were “besieged for four whole days, during which we lived indescribable horror.” He said in a phone interview that a tank had advanced to the hospital’s entrance on Wednesday and that the troops used loudspeakers to order everyone to evacuate.


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