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Israeli Forces Conduct Arrests in Gaza Hospital Amid Airstrikes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to continue the military campaign, announcing plans to move troops into the southern border city of Rafah. The military operation aimed to target Hamas militants and resulted in the arrest of 100 suspects, as well as the discovery of weapons in the hospital.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Feb 18, 2024 06:54 IST
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Israeli Forces Conduct Arrests in Gaza Hospital Amid Airstrikes
Israeli Forces Conduct Arrests in Gaza Hospital Amid Airstrikes

Israeli forces executed arrests in Gaza’s largest functioning hospital, Nasser Hospital, on Thursday, intensifying their campaign against Hamas, the ruling Palestinian Islamist group in the enclave.

Military Occupation of Nasser Hospital

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra reported that Israeli forces detained a significant number of medical staff at Nasser Medical Complex, accusing Israel of turning it into a military base.

Israeli Forces – Escalation of Military Campaign

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to continue the military campaign, announcing plans to move troops into the southern border city of Rafah. The military operation aimed to target Hamas militants and resulted in the arrest of 100 suspects, as well as the discovery of weapons in the hospital.

Denial and Counterclaims

Hamas denied allegations of using medical facilities as cover for its fighters. Israeli claims were supported by released hostages and visual evidence portraying Hamas activities within medical compounds.

Concerns for Patients and Displaced Palestinians

The incursion into Nasser Hospital raised concerns about the safety of patients, medical workers, and displaced Palestinians seeking shelter. Despite evacuation orders and anticipation of the Israeli raid, thousands had sought refuge in the hospital.

Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in Rafah Amid Israeli Plans

Dire Conditions in Rafah

In Rafah, where over half of Gaza’s population sought shelter, winter conditions worsened as wind and rain affected displaced Palestinians. Tents were blown away, and others were flooded, adding to the already dire situation.

International Alarm for Rafah

International concern grew as Israel planned to storm Rafah, with fears that such action would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Netanyahu insisted on targeting Hamas battalions in Rafah, regardless of hostage negotiations, emphasizing the need for an orderly evacuation.

Israeli Forces – Hamas Chief Blames Israel for Ceasefire Delay

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh blamed Israel for the lack of progress in ceasefire negotiations. Haniyeh insisted on a complete cessation of hostilities, Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, lifting the blockade, and the release of Palestinian prisoners serving long sentences in Israeli jails.

Escalation of Violence and Casualties

Devastating Impact of Israeli Offensive

Israel’s air and ground offensive devastated much of Gaza, displacing nearly all its inhabitants. Palestinian health authorities reported 28,858 casualties, mostly civilians, amid the conflict.

Israeli Forces – Escalation of Airstrikes

Since Friday, at least 83 people were killed in airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, with Rafah being a focal point. Reports of nighttime airstrikes on residential houses led to additional casualties, as the Israeli military claimed to target militants.

Ongoing Conflict and Regional Impact

The war, initiated by Hamas on October 7, has resulted in significant casualties and hostage situations. The conflict continues to escalate, impacting both Gaza and southern Israeli cities like Ashkelon, where air raid sirens warned of incoming rockets on Saturday.

First published on: Feb 18, 2024 06:52 AM IST

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