KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Health officials said 31 premature babies in “extremely critical condition” were safely transferred Sunday from Gaza’s main hospital and will head to Egypt, while more than 250 seriously injured and urgently needed patients remained. Others are stuck for days. After Israeli forces entered the compound to search for Hamas operations.
The plight of the children, along with Israeli claims against Al-Shifa Hospital, have become powerful symbols in the international community A devastating war between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli attack led to heavy losses among Palestinian civilians, while Israel accused Hamas of using Al-Shifa Hospital and other hospitals as a headquarters for military operations.
The newborns in the hospital, where electricity was cut and supplies ran out while Israeli forces battled Palestinian militants outside, were receiving urgent care in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Muhammad Zaqout, director of Gaza’s hospitals, said they were suffering from dehydration, hypothermia and sepsis in some cases. He added that four other children died in the two days before the evacuation.
A World Health Organization team that visited Al-Shifa said that most of the remaining patients had suffered amputations, burns or other trauma. Their evacuation is being planned in the coming days.
Later on Sunday, the Israeli military said it had strong evidence to support its claims that Hamas maintains a sprawling presence The command center is inside and under the healing. Israel portrayed the hospital as a main target in its war to end Hamas’ rule in Gaza after the armed group’s rule To southern Israel Six weeks ago.
The army said it found a 55-meter (60-yard) tunnel about 10 meters (33 feet) long under the 20-acre hospital complex, which includes several buildings, garages and a courtyard. She added that the tunnel includes a staircase and a shooting hole that can be used by snipers, and ends at an explosion-proof door that the forces have not yet opened.
The Associated Press was unable to independently verify Israel’s findings, which included security camera video showing what the military said were two foreign hostages, one Thai and one Nepalese, who were hospitalized after the Oct. 7 attack.
The army also said that an independent medical report confirmed that the corporal was in the Israeli army. Noa Marciano, whose body was recovered in Gaza, was killed by Hamas in hospital. Marciano was injured in an Israeli raid on November 9, which led to the death of her kidnapper, according to an Israeli intelligence assessment. The army said that the injuries were not life-threatening, but she was then killed by a Hamas activist in Shifa.
Hamas and hospital workers denied these allegations that there was a command center under Al-Shifa’s administration. Critics describe the hospital as a symbol of what they call Israel’s endangerment of civilians. Thousands were killed in Israeli raids on Gaza, which suffers from severe shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel.
Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, rejected the Israeli army’s announcement and did not deny that Gaza had done so Hundreds of kilometers of tunnels. But he said: “The Israelis said that there is a command and control center, which means that the matter is more than just a tunnel.”
About 1,200 people were killed on the Israeli side, most of them civilians, during the October 7 attack by Hamas. About 240 prisoners were withdrawn Return to Gaza and shattered Israel’s sense of security. The army says 63 Israeli soldiers were killed, including 12 in the past 24 hours.
Hamas released four hostages, Israel rescued one, and the bodies of two were found near Shifa.
Israel, the United States and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have been negotiating for the release of the hostages for weeks. “We hope that we will be able to release a large number of hostages in the coming days,” Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, told ABC.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani said the sticking points were “more practical and logistical.”
Israel’s three-member war cabinet is scheduled to meet with representatives of the hostages’ families on Monday evening.
The ship was captured
Yemen Houthi rebels seized a cargo ship linked to Israel in the southern Red Sea and took its 25 crew hostage on Sunday, an action that raised fears that regional tensions heightened by the war could spill over into the seas. The Iran-backed rebel group said it would continue to target ships linked to Israel.
Officials said there were no Israelis on board the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, which is operated by a Japanese company with crew from the Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Mexico. Public shipping databases linked the ship’s owners to Ray Car Carriers, a company founded by Avraham “Rami” Ungar, known to be one of the richest people in Israel.
Ungar told The Associated Press that he was aware of the incident but could not comment because he was awaiting details. A ship linked to it witnessed an explosion in 2021 in the Gulf of Oman. Israeli media blamed this on Iran at the time.
The Galaxy Leader was transferred to the coastal city of Hodeidah, near the coast of Eritrea, according to the British Army’s UK Maritime Trade Operations, citing a security officer at the ship’s company.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said Japanese officials are negotiating with the Houthi rebels to release the ship and its crew.
Fierce fighting in the north
There were reports of violent clashes in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. “There was a constant sound of gunfire and tank shelling,” Yassin Sharif, who is staying in a UN-run hospital there, said by phone.
The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said that 24 people were killed the previous day in what witnesses described as an Israeli air strike on a UN-run school in Jabalia. The Israeli army, which has repeatedly called on the Palestinians to leave northern Gaza, merely said that its forces were active in the area “with the aim of striking terrorists.”
“This war is causing a staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties. This must stop,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement regarding that raid and another on a UN-run school within 24 hours.
More than 11,500 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities. Another 2,700 were reported missing. Believed buried under rubble. count No difference between civilians and combatants; Israel says it has killed thousands of activists.
Attacks by Israeli forces and settlers have killed 215 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of the war, according to Palestinian health officials.
Cold weather increases misery
More than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes. The United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA, is struggling to provide basic services to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. The agency said that 17 of its facilities were subjected to direct bombardment.
Their suffering has worsened in recent days due to cold winds and heavy rain.
Over the weekend, Israel allowed UNRWA to import enough fuel to continue humanitarian operations for a few more days, and to keep its internet and phone systems running. Israel cut off all fuel imports at the beginning of the war, shutting down Gaza’s only power plant and most water treatment systems.
Israel has repeatedly bombed what it says are militant targets across the south, often killing civilians.
The evacuation area is Already crowded with displaced civiliansIt was not clear where they would go if the attack approached. Egypt has refused to accept any influx of Palestinian refugees, partly because Fears that Israel will not allow them to return.
But some patients and foreign nationals were able to cross. The Turkish Health Ministry said it had evacuated 110 people – including patients and their relatives – from an unspecified part of Gaza to Egypt. Turkish officials said another 87 people from Turkey or breakaway Northern Cyprus entered Egypt from Gaza late on Sunday, and the groups were scheduled to be flown on Monday to Turkey.
Palestinian-Canadian Khalil Manea (71 years old) left the Gaza Strip for Egypt on Sunday. After fleeing to southern Gaza, he said he lived with his relatives in a house crowded with 40 people. “There, we also suffered intense strikes. “A missile hit our house,” he said.
Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Julia Frankel in Jerusalem and Robert Badendyk in Istanbul contributed.
Complete AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.
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