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Gaza: Israel withdraws from al-Chifa hospital, says Hamas

The Ministry of Health of the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas claimedé Monday that the Israeli army withdrew his tanks from the al-Chifa hospital, the largest in the besieged Palestinian territory, and said they discovered dozens of corpses there.

The Israeli army, which launched a military operation two weeks ago against this hospital complex located in the city of Gaza, in the north of the territory, did not immediately confirm this withdrawal.

An AFP journalist and witnesses on site saw tanks and vehicles leaving the hospital complex, covered by artillery fire and airstrikes.

“Dozens of bodies of martyrs, some in a state of decomposition, were found in the compound and around the al-Chifa hospital,” the Hamas Ministry of Health said in a statement, specifying that the material damage is “very significant” to all the buildings.

A doctor told AFP that more than 20 bodies had been recovered. According to him, some bodies were rolled over by military vehicles in the process of withdrawing.

The Israeli army, which accuses the Hamas fighters of hide in hospitals, launched what it described as a “precise operation” against al-Chifa on March 18.

She claimed to have since “eliminated around 200 terrorists” in the area. The operation began when hundreds of displaced people had found refuge within the hospital grounds.

Sunday, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, indicated that 21 patients at al-Chifa hospital had died since the start of the Israeli operation.

Gaza: Israel withdraws from al-Chifa hospital, says Hamas

Displaced Palestinians examine the damage after an Israeli bombardment on their makeshift camp in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, March 31, 2024 © AFP – –

According to him, there are 107 patients left in this hospital, including four children and 28 patients in critical condition. “Many have infected wounds and are dehydrated” and since Saturday, “there is only one bottle of water left for 15 people,” said the head of the WHO on the social network X.

The Israeli army had already carried out a similar operation in al-Chifa in November, accusing Hamas – which denies – of using this hospital as a command center.

– New strikes –

Nearly six months after the start of the war triggered on October 7 by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement against Israel, the Israeli retaliatory offensive has seen no respite in the besieged Gaza Strip, with a heavy toll of 32,782 dead according to Hamas, a humanitarian catastrophe and immense destruction.

Gaza: Israel withdraws from al-Chifa hospital, says Hamas

The northern Gaza Strip and al-Chifa hospital © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Jean-Michel CORNU, Hervé BOUILLY

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an attack in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mainly civilians, according to a count by the AFP established from official data.

According to Israel, around 250 people were also kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died, Gaza.

In response, the Israeli army launched a campaign of intense aerial bombardments on Gaza, followed by a ground offensive which allowed its soldiers to advance from north to south of the small strip of land, up to the gates of Rafah.

The Israeli army announced Monday that 600 of its soldiers had been killed since October 7, including 256 in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian territory was ravaged on Sunday by new Israeli strikes, one of which targeted a hospital according to the UN.

Gaza: Israel withdraws from al-Chifa hospital, says Hamas

Palestinians injured in an Israeli bombardment lie on the ground in the al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, March 31, 2024 © AFP – –

According to the director of the WHO, a UN agency, “a camp on the grounds of the al-Aqsa hospital was hit by an Israeli airstrike”, causing four dead.

A WHO team was on mission at the time of the strike in this hospital in Deir el-Balah (center), said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on X The Israeli army, for its part, reported a “precise strike against an operational command center of Islamic Jihad and terrorists positioned in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa hospital”.

– “Netanyahu must go” –

In Israel, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu – who had “successful” surgery on a hernia on Sunday evening – has been challenged for two days in the street by tens of thousands of demonstrators who are demanding his resignation and the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

Police used water cannons to push back the protesters, shouting “Elections!”, Netanyahu “must go” and “Bring back (the hostages) now!” and gathered in front of the Parliament in Jerusalem, where clashes broke out with the police, AFP noted.

Gaza: Israel withdraws from al-Chifa hospital, says Hamas

Israeli police disperse an anti-government demonstration on March 31, 2024 in Jerusalem © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI

“People are angry, they are tired (…) They accuse Bibi (Netanyahu) and the government who say that they are not responsible for anything”, testified Dana Rabfogel Shor, 44 years old, coming from Tel-Aviv.

A truce agreement between Israel and Hamas is however far away, despite calls from international organizations warning of a risk of famine for the majority of the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip besieged by Israel.

“There is no question yet of a new round of negotiations”, said assured a Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, in a press release on Sunday.

In recent months, indirect discussions via international mediators – Egypt, Qatar, United States – have taken place. are held in Doha or Cairo.

Mr. Netanyahu had accused Hamas of having “hardened” its position” with a view to a truce, while Israel had, according to him, “demonstrated flexibility”.

In the center of the country, near Ashdod (center), three young men were seriously injured in a knife attack on Sunday according to emergency services.

The police confirmed that a “terrorist” had “stabbed three people” with “two knives” before being “neutralized” by the municipal police, adding that he was from Dura, near Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116