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Israeli forces entered Gaza's Shifa hospital

This handout picture released by the Israeli army on November 15, 2023, shows a soldier standing outside Al-Shifa hospital next to boxes   -  
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Israeli forces entered Gaza's al-Shifa hospital on Wednesday night after a lengthy standoff.

The Israeli Defence Force said it was carrying out a " precise and targeted operation" against Hamas militants despite the hospital being full of hundreds of patients and medical personal.

Hours earlier Pentagon spokeperson John Kirby, speaking from a plane, supported Israeli claims that Hamas was using al-Shifa hospital as a command centre.

"I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad used some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including al-Shifa and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages,'' said John Kirby, National Security Council spokesperson.

During the da, the Hamas-run health ministry had called for a ceasefire to evacuate three dozen premature babies who were battling for their lives without working incubators. 

After days of air strikes around the hospital, its power had been cut and images of the vulnerable babies  had raised international concern. 

The situation in Gaza's other hospitals is also dire, with the United Nations saying 22 of 36 are not functional due to lack of generator fuel, damage, and ongoing fighting. 

The 14 hospitals remaining open, have barely enough supplies to sustain critical and life-saving surgeries.

"I just heard the sound of bombing and found myself in the hospital. These are the safe areas they talk about. There's no safe area in Gaza, not a market, not a park, not a school, not a hospital," said Raed Baker, a displaced Palestinian from Beach refugee camp.

Hamas continues to deny the Israeli accusations that it uses hospitals, in particular al-Shifa, to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages.

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