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Israel ‘Expanding’ War Operations in Gaza: Hamas War Live Updates

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To folks in Gaza, Al Shifa is the largest and most superior hospital round — a lifeline, in regular occasions, and now a spot of refuge from relentless Israeli airstrikes.

Greater than 60,000 persons are sheltering there. However to the Israeli army, it’s a menace, and, maybe, a goal.

On Friday, hours earlier than the Israeli army stepped up its bombardment of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’s mass killings of Israelis three weeks in the past, it held a information convention through which it mentioned that Al Shifa conceals underground command facilities for Hamas — elevating fears that the army was laying the groundwork for attacking the hospital.

Hamas “does its command and management in numerous departments of the hospital,” mentioned Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman for the Israeli army, talking in English and citing intelligence sources that he didn’t launch. He displayed an illustrated map of the hospital marking what he mentioned had been a number of underground Hamas installations within the complicated.

“That is the place they direct rocket assaults, command Hamas forces,” he mentioned on the information convention held in Tel Aviv.

He additionally performed a recording of a name, whose origins he didn’t specify, through which an unidentified man tells a girl that Hamas’s army headquarters are beneath the hospital.

“God forbid!” the girl, who can also be unnamed, replies within the audio recording.

Salama Marouf, the pinnacle of the Hamas-run Gaza authorities media workplace, denied the accusation in a news conference on Friday night time, saying Israel had “failed to supply a single piece of proof” supporting its claims about Al Shifa. He mentioned the recording Adm. Hagari cited was “fabricated.”

Credit score…Dawood Nemer/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

On Saturday, Adm. Hagari mentioned the information convention in regards to the hospital was a part of a unbroken effort to “expose” Hamas’s “exploitation of the civilian inhabitants within the Gaza Strip.”

Additionally on Saturday, Israel launched a pair of videos that it mentioned confirmed Palestinian prisoners who had been “concerned” in Hamas’s Oct. 7 raids on Israel talking about Hamas’s use of Al Shifa.

“I do know, for instance, in response to what I’ve heard, the Shifa Hospital, they’re utilizing it, they’re hiding there,” says one, who describes himself within the video as a paramedic.

Israel has lengthy considered civilian infrastructure akin to properties, malls and locations of worship as respectable targets for its strikes, saying Hamas runs operations in these sorts of locations, utilizing civilians as human shields.

Israel says that when attacking, it makes an attempt to differentiate between civilians and combatants. Gaza’s well being ministry has launched the names of a minimum of 1,500 youngsters underneath the age of 10 who it says had been killed in Israeli airstrikes from Oct. 7 to Oct. 26.

Smoke rising from northern Gaza after an Israeli airstrike on Saturday. On Friday night, Israel made incursions into Gaza after launching an intense bombardment, with artillery and airstrikes, army officers mentioned.Credit score…Tamir Kalifa for The New York Occasions

Al Shifa’s normal capability is 700 beds. However it’s now housing greater than 60,000 folks — the wounded, these attempting to take care of them and tens of hundreds extra who’ve taken refuge there, believing {that a} hospital would provide them some safety.

The laundry of the displaced hangs out the home windows and all alongside the metallic fence across the hospital. Youngsters run down the fluorescent-lit corridors. At night time, folks huddle collectively underneath colourful blankets, whereas the employees put together for an additional day of treating sufferers with out sufficient gas, water or vital medicines.

Amongst Al Shifa’s present sufferers are about 130 newborns who had been orphaned simply as they had been born, in response to docs at Al Shifa.

When their pregnant moms had been pulled useless or dying from the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israeli airstrikes, obstetricians went to work, tugging the infants from their moms’ our bodies. Born untimely, they had been positioned in incubators in Al Shifa’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Most of them are the one survivors of their households, in response to Bisan Ouda, a Gazan journalist and filmmaker who filmed contained in the hospital this previous week and interviewed employees there in movies launched by the U.N. Inhabitants Fund.


A health care provider treating untimely infants at Al Shifa Hospital mentioned that most of the newborns had been now orphaned.Credit scoreCredit score…Bisan Ouda for UNFPA

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, a British-Palestinian plastic surgeon volunteering at Al Shifa’s burn remedy unit, told CNN on Oct. 24 that the hospital had coined a brand new designation, “wounded youngster with no surviving household,” to check with greater than 50 youngsters who had by that time been pulled from the rubble and brought to Al Shifa.

“The quantity of youngsters I handled — they haven’t a single relative left,” he mentioned in a separate interview with a Lebanese tv journalist on Friday. “The daddy was killed, the mom additionally, and the brothers, aunts, uncles, grandfather and grandmother.”

He added: “It’s onerous to not think about your personal youngsters whenever you see these folks’s youngsters, as they endure like this on this brutal means. Their solely sin is being Palestinian.”

Iyad Abuheweila and Isabel Kershner contributed reporting.

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