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Israeli army withdraws from Gaza’s main hospital after two-week raid, claim Palestinians

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NEW DELHI: Palestinian residents have said that the Israeli military has pulled out from Gaza’s main hospital following a two-week operation, leaving widespread devastation in its wake.
Upon the withdrawal early Monday, hundreds of individuals returned to Shifa Hospital and its vicinity, discovering bodies both inside and outside the facility.
The military has not issued an immediate statement, but it has hailed the operation as a major success in the ongoing conflict.
According to the army, numerous Hamas and other militant members, including high-ranking operatives, were eliminated, and weapons along with valuable intelligence were seized.
Mohammed Mahdi, who was present upon the return, recounted scenes of complete destruction, noting multiple buildings burned down and six bodies found in the area, two of which were in the hospital courtyard.
Another resident, Yahia Abu Auf, mentioned that patients, medical staff, and displaced individuals still sought refuge within the medical compound, with some patients being transferred to Ahli Hospital nearby.
He highlighted that army bulldozers had destroyed a makeshift cemetery within the hospital premises, describing the situation as beyond words and mentioning the decimation of life under the occupation.
Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals for military purposes and has conducted raids on several medical facilities. Critics have condemned the military for allegedly endangering civilians and further straining an already overwhelmed healthcare system grappling with war-related injuries.
In a prior incident in November, the military had raided Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, citing Hamas’ alleged use of the compound for military activities.
The war, which was triggered on October 7, saw Hamas-led militants launching an assault on southern Israel, resulting in casualties and hostage-taking. Israel responded with a comprehensive offensive that has led to significant Palestinian casualties, displacements, and food insecurity.
(With AP inputs)

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