Khan Younis (Gaza), November 18
Israeli airstrikes on residential blocks in south Gaza killed at least 47 Palestinians on Saturday even as many patients and staff left Al Shifa Hospital, leaving behind only a skeleton crew to take care for those too sick to move.
Palestinian toll crosses 12,000
The Gaza health authorities on Friday raised the death toll in the enclave to more than 12,000, including 5,000 children
In south Gaza, Israel warned civilians to relocate as it attacked Hamas. Such a move could compel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled south from the Israeli assault on Gaza City to move again, along with residents of Khan Younis, a city of more than 4,00,000, worsening a dire humanitarian crisis.
“We’re asking people to relocate. I know it’s not easy for many of them, but we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire,” said Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel vowed to annihilate the Hamas militant group that controls the Gaza Strip after its October 7 rampage into Israel in which its fighters killed 1,200 people and dragged 240 hostages into the enclave.
Since then, Israel has bombed much of Gaza City — the enclave’s urban core — to rubble, ordered the depopulation of the northern half of the narrow strip and displaced around two-thirds of Gaza’s population. Many of those who have fled fear their homelessness could become permanent.
Gaza health authorities raised their death toll on Friday to more than 12,000, including 5,000 children.
Overnight on Saturday, 26 Palestinians were killed and 23 injured by an airstrike on two apartments in a multi-storey block in Khan Younis, according to health officials.
A few kilometres to the north, six Palestinians were killed when a house was bombed from the air in the town of Deir Al-Balah, according to health authorities.
At Al Shifa Hospital, Israel’s military has been conducting searches for traces of a Hamas command centre that it alleges was located under the building — a claim Hamas and the hospital staff deny — and urging the several thousand people still there to leave.
On Saturday, the military said it had been asked by the hospital’s director to help those who would like to leave do so by a secure route. The military said it did not order any evacuation, and that medical personnel were being allowed to remain in the hospital to support patients who could not be moved.
But Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, said the military had ordered the facility cleared, giving the hospital an hour to get people out.
After it appeared the evacuation was mostly complete, Dr Ahmed Mokhallalati, a Shifa physician, said on social media that there were some 120 patients remaining who were unable to leave, including some in intensive care and premature babies, and that he and five other doctors were staying behind to care for them. — Agencies
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Southern districts of Odisha and eastern Telangana continue ...
On camera: Karni Sena chief Sukhdev Gogamedi shot dead at Jaipur home, one assailant killed in exchange of fire
Assailants went to Gogamedi’s house on pretext of meeting hi...
No word on how many ministers would be sworn in and whether ...
'Sachin Pilot's movements, phone were being tracked and monitored', claims outgoing Rajasthan CM Gehlot's OSD
Lokesh Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest Rajasthan ...
He had called the December 6 meeting of the bloc after the p...