Israeli Army Says Bodies Of Hostages Likely Held In Gaza Hospital


Israeli Army Says Bodies Of Hostages Likely Held In Gaza Hospital

Israeli forces operating across the Gaza Strip have repeatedly raided hospitals. (File)


The Israeli army alleged on Thursday that bodies of hostages could be held at a hospital in southern Gaza, after troops raided the facility which medics say has been “besieged” for a month.

The military said troops were involved in a “precise and limited operation” inside Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis city, after intense fighting between troops and Hamas operatives around the facility.

“We have credible intelligence from a number of sources, including from released hostages, indicating that Hamas held hostages at the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis and that there may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser hospital facility,” it said in a statement.

The military did not provide evidence or immediately respond to AFP’s questions regarding when they may have been at the facility, for what purpose or whether soldiers had ever located a hostage inside a Gaza hospital.

The health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza has reported that thousands of people who had sought refuge at the Nasser hospital, including patients, have been made to leave in recent days.

Footage circulating on social media, which AFP could not independently verify, shows scores of people walking through a narrow alley as they left the hospital.

Another video clip showed rescuers trying to move patients from the hospital’s orthopaedic ward, after it was reportedly struck, to safer rooms.

Using mobile flashlights, rescuers were seen dragging a patient on a bed, while some others carried another sick person in a blanket amid fallen debris.

Another video sent by the health ministry in Gaza showed a row of patients on their beds in a packed corridor of the hospital’s medical building.

A nurse has told AFP of deadly sniper fire, sewage in the emergency room, and a lack of drinking water.

Israeli forces operating across the Gaza Strip have repeatedly raided hospitals, insisting the facilities are being used as command centres by Hamas operatives.

Hamas denies such accusations and the Israeli military has not shown concrete proof of such command centres.

‘Critical’ facility 

The World Health Organization has described Nasser hospital as a critical facility “for all of Gaza”, where only a minority of hospitals are even partly operational.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday he was “alarmed” by reports from Nasser hospital, which he described as the “backbone of the health system in southern Gaza”.

The agency has been denied access to the facility in recent days and has lost contact with staff there, Tedros wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Gaza’s health ministry has called the situation at Nasser “catastrophic”, with staff unable to move bodies to the morgue because of the risks involved.

The military said its “mission is to ensure that the Nasser hospital continues its important function of treating Gazan patients”.

Hamas on October 7 carried out an unprecedented attack that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Palestinian operatives also took about 250 people hostage. Around 130 of them remain captive in Gaza, including 29 believed dead, according to Israeli officials.

Earlier this week Israeli forces rescued two hostages from the southern Gaza city of Rafah during bombing that killed, according to Gaza’s health ministry, about 100 people.

Since the war began at least 28,663 people have been killed in Gaza, most of them women, children and adolescents, according to the territory’s health ministry.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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