Over 170 Killed in Rafah Hospital Raid

(BrightPress.org) – An ongoing raid of the Al Shifa hospital in Rafah has resulted in more than 170 deaths. Israeli troops stormed the hospital on Monday, March 18th, and combed through the complex. The Israeli military believes a tunnel system beneath the hospital that was allegedly uncovered in November is being used as a base for Hamas and Palestinian fighters. The Israeli military has questioned more than 800 people and detained over 350 believed to be Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants.

According to the Gaza health ministry, five wounded Palestinian civilians trapped inside the hospital died due to the lack of food and water and from being denied proper care over six days. The Israeli military claims to be preventing harm to civilians inside the hospital and says food and water are being provided for medical staff and patients. Neither account has been verified.

Residents in the area said dozens of residential buildings surrounding Al Shifa were destroyed by the Israeli army. A Gaza government media office said the Israeli troops set fire to a surgery department and detained about 240 patients and healthcare workers.

Israel says Al Shifa can continue to operate as normal but a surgical resident claims they were all told to remain where they are and cannot function because there is no water or electricity inside the building. The surgical resident, Dr. Amer Jedbeh, said at least two patients on life support have died because all of the “machinery is off.”

Gaza’s health ministry said Israel is committing a war crime. The UN said that Israel is now “blocking its main agency” providing food for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from delivering the supplies. Almost no aid has been received in the Northern Gaza and Gaza City area for weeks. Experts believe “famine is imminent” in the area.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an immediate ceasefire. He wants the hostages held in Gaza released and for Israel to remove “obstacles and checkpoints” that are preventing food delivery.

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