Israeli forces raid al-Shifa Hospital

  • Israeli forces stormed Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, with a military spokesman claiming Hamas fighters have regrouped inside the medical facility.
  • Gaza’s Health Ministry said the raid on the hospital – Israel’s fourth since October – has resulted in deaths and injuries.

    Gaza death toll rises

    At least 31,726 Palestinians have been killed and 73,792 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, Gaza’s Health Ministry says.

    A number of victims are still trapped under the rubble where rescue teams are not able to reach them, the ministry added.

    Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours.

    • Israel’s Mossad chief, negotiating team to travel to Qatar today

      An Israeli delegation, headed by the Mossad chief, is due to visit Qatar for talks with Hamas that could go on for at least two weeks, according to an Israeli official quoted by the Reuters news agency.

      Israel is expected to offer a six-week truce in exchange for the release of 40 of the 100 Israeli captives believed to still be alive in Gaza, according to the official.

      Delays are anticipated due to challenges faced by Hamas’s representatives in coordinating with the group’s Gaza-based members during the war, the Israeli official said.

    • Israeli army orders people to evacuate from al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity

      In the last 45 minutes, leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately to al-Mawasi evacuation zone. That’s the western part of Khan Younis.

      Earlier, an Israeli military spokesman said no evacuation was needed but now this evacuation order shows a sharp contrast, the vagueness, as well as the misleading narrative.

      People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war.

      In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital.

      Today, the raid started early morning after a group of special forces entered the hospital disguised in civilian clothes. After that, military vehicles, tanks surveillance drones and military helicopters surrounded the complex and started shooting.

      Israel ‘deliberately’ blocking aid into Gaza while children starve

      Israel is “systematically and deliberately” blocking aid from getting into Gaza while famine-like conditions spread in the enclave, says Oxfam.

      In its latest report, the organisation outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies snarled up and cracking down on humanitarian missions.

      “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it,” Oxfam said, adding that it creates the “perfect storm for humanitarian collapse”.

      On Sunday, aid convoys reached northern Gaza City and Jabalia for the first time without incident in four months, reaching a desperate population that has grown so hungry some have resorted to eating leaves or animal feed.

      Hunger has grown so pervasive that one in three children under the age of two in Gaza are “acutely malnourished” according to the UN, while at least 23 children have died from dehydration or starvation.

      Israel’s ‘short-sighted’ war strategy bringing heavy ‘political loss’

      Ulrich Brueckner, a professor of European Studies at Stanford University, has criticised Israel’s war strategy as “short sighted”, overlooking its enduring humanitarian consequences or establishing a clear post-war plan.

      As a result, the war could bring Israel a “political loss that will last much longer than any potential victory it can claim”, Brueckner told Al Jazeera.

      Brueckner added that neither the US nor Europe would likely be able to exert much influence on Netanyahu, who is fighting for “political survival”. While the US theoretically has more leverage, he said, President Biden is caught between “strong supporters of the Palestinians and a very strong Jewish lobbying group during an election year”.

      Israeli military orders residents around al-Shifa Hospital to evacuate

      The Israeli military has ordered residents of the Remal neighbourhood, where al-Shifa Hospital is located, to evacuate the area.

      Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee instructed them to go to the al-Mawasi “humanitarian zone”, a severely overcrowded strip of land serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas.

      “A call to all those present and displaced in the Al-Rimal neighborhood and in Al-Shifa Hospital and its surroundings: In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi,” he said in a post on X.

      Israeli forces have besieged al-Shifa Hospital in the early hours of Monday. At least 80 people have been arrested, according to The Times of Israel.

      The military said a gunfight broke out inside the facility, and several Hamas members were killed and wounded. One Israeli soldier was “lightly wounded”, it said.

      • Hamas denounces ‘new Israeli crime’ on al-Shifa Hospital

        Hamas has released a statement condemning Israel’s ongoing onslaught on al-Shifa Hospital.

        “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” the statement said. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.”

        In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws”.

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