Heavy fighting broke out on Monday around another hospital in northern Gaza, a move that comes less than a week since Israeli forces began an operation inside the largest medical facility in Gaza.
A shell hit a floor of the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, leaving at least 12 people dead, The Associated Press reported, citing the Hamas-ruled health ministry in Gaza. Israeli forces did not immediately comment.
A medical worker at the Indonesian Hospital told the AP Israeli tanks were operating less than 200 meters from the facility and Israeli snipers were seen on the roofs of nearby buildings.
An estimated 600 patients, 200 health care workers and 2,000 displaced people are sheltering in the Indonesian Hospital, the AP noted, citing health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.
Hospitals and medical facilities in Gaza have come to the forefront of Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas, which began last month after Hamas’s Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel. Those attacks left over 1,200 people in Israel dead and Hamas is believed to have taken an estimated 240 people hostage.
Over 13,00 Palestinians have been killed amid Israel’s response, according to Reuters, citing Gaza’s Hamas-run government. These numbers cannot be independently verified.
Since launching its bombardment into Gaza, Israel has repeatedly claimed Hamas is using Palestinian civilians as human shields, including the scores of wounded patients and displaced individuals in medical facilities.
Monday’s reported attack comes a day after 31 premature babies, which health officials described as in “extremely critical condition,” were evacuated from al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility. The babies were expected to be brought to Egypt while hundreds of other patients remained stuck at the hospital as Israeli forces conduct an operation inside the facility.
The Israel Defense Forces have claimed Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, was operating inside al-Shifa, where hundreds of civilians were receiving treatment or seeking shelter.
A joint team from the World Health Organization visited the hospital on Saturday, and said it was a “death zone” and described the situation as “desperate.”
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