Palestinians Flee as Israeli Forces Raid a Major Hospital in Gaza

The Israeli military on Thursday raided the largest hospital still functioning in the Gaza Strip, in what it called a search for Hamas fighters and the bodies of hostages. Many people who had sought shelter there were forced to flee from combat once again.

Explosions and gunfire rocked the hospital in the city of Khan Younis, the Nasser Medical Complex, before the predawn raid, killing and wounding several people including at least one doctor and a patient, according to a doctor there, as well as the charity Doctors Without Borders, which had staff members at the hospital, and Gaza health authorities. The specific casualty claims, like many assertions in the conflict, could not be immediately confirmed.

Videos posted on social media on Thursday and voice messages sent by doctors during the night, both before and after Israeli forces smashed through the perimeter wall and entered the compound, depicted scenes of chaos and fear inside the damaged, smoke-filled hospital, punctuated by automatic gunfire, explosions and shouting.

Health care workers shared videos of a chaotic scene at Nasser Medical Center in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, as Israeli troops raided the hospital and ordered people to evacuate.CreditCredit…Obtained by Reuters

One video, verified by The New York Times, showed damage to the hospital and injured people being rushed through a smoke-filled corridor among debris amid sounds of gunfire. Witnesses said people by the hundreds — possibly thousands — later stood in long lines as Israeli troops screened them, a few at a time, for evacuation.

The Israeli military said it had detained dozens of people, but did not say who or why.

“We have credible intelligence from a number of sources, including from released hostages, indicating that Hamas held hostages at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, and that there may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser hospital facility,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman for the Israeli military, said in a video statement.

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