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Israel searches the main hospital in Gaza, communications out of service

The Israeli army on Friday intensifies its hunt for suspected Hamas hideouts hidden in the largest hospital in Gaza Gaza, Palestinian territory where the humanitarian situation is worried and where Telecommunications are now out of service due to lack of fuel.

During the night, an AFP team reported a major Israeli operation in the Jenin camp, a stronghold of Palestinian armed movements, in the occupied West Bank.

And the official Syrian press agency Sana announced Israeli airstrikes which caused “material damage” near Damascus, Israel having repeatedly targeted militia positions on Syrian soil in recent years pro-Iran, country supporting Hamas.

In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government claimed that Israeli soldiers had “destroyed” several wards of al-Chifa hospital, a huge complex located in Gaza City.

Since deadly attack that Hamas carried out on Israeli soil on October 7, Israel vowed to “annihilate” the Islamist movement classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

L The Israeli army relentlessly bombs the small, besieged Palestinian territory, where Hamas took power in 2007.

Late Thursday evening, she announced that she had discovered near the hospital the body of Yehudit Weiss, a hostage “murdered by terrorists in the Gaza Strip” after being kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 in the Beeri kibbutz, in the south of Israel.

The raid launched on Wednesday in the al-Chifa hospital, deprived of water and electricity, sheltering patients, nursing staff and civilians who hoped to flee the war, has sparked urgent calls from the international community to protect the population. According to the UN, 2,300 people are currently in hospital.

– “Search of each floor” –

For several days, Israel has been tightening its grip on Gaza City and more particularly its hospitals, accusing Hamas of using them as bases and of using the sick as “human shields”.

An official of the Israeli army announced that soldiers were “searching every floor, building after building while hundreds of patients and medical staff are still in the complex.”

Israel searches main Gaza hospital, communications out of service

Photo released by the Israeli army, November 15, 2023, showing Israeli soldiers during an operation in the al-Chifa hospital in Gaza © Israeli Army – –

“We are focusing on what is underground, including in hospitals. As such, our soldiers discovered the entrance to a tunnel at al-Chifa hospital and military engineers are currently working to dig up the infrastructure on site,” said spokesperson Daniel Hagari late Thursday evening.

Israel claims that al-Chifa hospital houses strategic Hamas infrastructure, notably in tunnels dug under the complex, which the Islamist movement denies.

“Images relating to hostages” captured by Hamas were found on equipment seized during the raid, the army added.

“We had strong indications that they (the hostages, editor's note) were being held at al-Chifa hospital, and that is one of the reasons why we entered there. If the hostages were indeed there, they were transported,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the American channel CBS.

In Israel, around 1,200 people were killed, mainly civilians, according to the authorities, in the attack launched on October 7 by Hamas commandos from the Gaza Strip, of unprecedented violence and scale since the creation of Israel in 1948.

Since the attack, 51 soldiers have been killed in the Palestinian territory, according to the Israeli army which estimates the number of hostages taken by Hamas to Gaza at around 240 .

Israeli bombings carried out in retaliation in the Gaza Strip left 11,500 dead, mostly civilians, including 4,710 children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

– Communications “totally cut” –

Since October 9, Israel has imposed a “complete siege” on the Palestinian territory, cutting off deliveries of water, electricity, food and medicine.


International aid to Gaza arrives in dribs and drabs by truck from Egypt, in insufficient quantity according to the UN, which is calling in particular for the delivery of fuel to operate the generators in hospitals.

The director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, said Thursday in Geneva that communications were once again “totally cut” with the Gaza Strip due to lack of fuel.

“All telecommunications services in the Gaza Strip are now out of service because the energy sources powering the network have been exhausted and fuel is not allowed to enter,” Palestinian telecoms operator Paltel said , in a press release released Thursday at the end of the day.

Early Friday, AFP was unable to make contact with members of its team it was trying to reach in the Gaza Strip where, according to the UN, 1.65 of the 2.4 million inhabitants were displaced by the war.

– “Immediate risk of famine” –

“We have no electricity, drinking water or food (…) Thousands of women, children, sick people and wounded are in danger of death,” Hamas Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidreh told AFP.

“With winter fast approaching, precarious and overcrowded shelters, as well as lack of drinking water, civilians face an immediate risk of famine,” the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned on Thursday. united.

On the night of Thursday to Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Benny Gantz, a tenor of the Israeli opposition who joined Mr. Netanyahu's war cabinet, “about efforts to increase and accelerate the passage of essential humanitarian aid to Gaza”, according to Washington.

– “Delicate negotiations” –

In Israel, pressure is increasing on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on hostage issue. A march by relatives of the hostages who left Tel Aviv on Tuesday to demand an agreement on their release is due to arrive in Jerusalem on Friday, while talks are being held via Qatari mediation.

The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, called for the “immediate release” of the hostages, during a visit Thursday to Beeri, where at least 85 people were killed and around thirty others kidnapped on 7 October.

Israel searches Gaza's main hospital, communications out of service

Fighting in Gaza © AFP – Sophie RAMIS, Maxence D'AVERSA, Olivia BUGAULT

For the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Choukri, who says he is “in contact with Hamas, with other international parties concerned and with Israel”, the current negotiations are “very delicate”.

Israel has so far refused any ceasefire without prior release of the hostages. But for the exiled leader of Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, Israel “has not achieved any of its objectives” and will only obtain “the release of its prisoners at the price that the resistance will set.”

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2023) 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