Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital demolished following two-week Israeli raid

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Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital demolished following two-week Israeli raid

Israel’s military says it has pulled out of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after a two-week raid that left most of the major medical complex in ruins.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said troops had killed and detained hundreds of “terrorists” and found weapons and intelligence “throughout the hospital”.

According to a report on the BBC, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said they left behind dozens of bodies. Locals said nearby areas were razed.

The IDF said it raided al-Shifa because Hamas had regrouped there.

The raid saw intense fighting and Israeli air strikes in nearby buildings and the surrounding area. Wards were attacked because Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives were using them as a base, the IDF said.

Photos taken after the withdrawal showed that al-Shifa’s main surgery building, which housed the intensive care unit, and the neighbouring building where the emergency, general surgery and orthopaedics departments were located, had been destroyed.

The IDF statement said troops had “completed precise operational activity in the area of al-Shifa hospital and exited the area of the hospital”. During the raid the IDF was “preventing harm to civilians, patients, and medical teams”, it added.

A spokesman for Gaza’s Hamas-run civil defence service, Mahmoud Basal, was cited by Palestinian media as saying that the IDF “destroyed all departments, buildings and infrastructure” in the complex.