Israel’s Raid on Al-Shifa Hospital Grows Into One of the Longest of Gaza War

Israel’s Raid on Al-Shifa Hospital Grows Into One of the Longest of Gaza War

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As Israel’s attack on the Shifa complex stretched into a fourth day, the military said it had killed dozens of people it described as terrorists. Its account couldn’t be verified.

Smoke rising during an Israeli raid at Al-Shifa Hospital and the surrounding area in Gaza City on Thursday.Credit…Dawoud Abu Alkas/ReutersMarch 21, 2024Updated 12:33 p.m. ETOne of Israel’s longest hospital raids of the Gaza war stretched into a fourth day on Thursday, as the military said that it had killed dozens of people it described as terrorists in the previous 24 hours in its operation at Al-Shifa Hospital.

Israel has staged a series of raids on Al-Shifa in northern Gaza, the largest medical facility in the territory, arguing that Hamas used it as a command center and concealed weapons and fighters in underground tunnels there. Since the latest attack began on Monday, the Israeli military has reported killing more than 140 people it said were terrorists in and around the hospital, far more than in past raids.

On Thursday, the military said it had also detained 600 people at the hospital. The Israeli accounts could not be independently verified.

The Al Jazeera news network and Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency, reported on Thursday that Israeli forces had blown up a building used for surgery that is one of the largest at the complex. The Israeli military said it had no comment on the reports.

Iyad Elejel, who lives about 500 yards from Al-Shifa, said the situation was “very terrifying,” adding in a phone call on Thursday: “We are hearing the constant sounds of clashes, gunshots, shelling, bombing, quadcopters and planes all day and all night.” Smoke had infiltrated the apartment where he is staying with 30 relatives, making it hard to breathe, he said.

Mr. Elejel said the children in the apartment were becoming used to the cacophony. “We try to convince them that the sounds they are hearing are from fireworks, but they don’t believe it,” he said.

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