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Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza’s main hospital after two-week raid, leaving destruction and dead bodies | World News


Israeli forces have withdrawn from Gaza’s main hospital after a two-week raid, leaving behind destroyed buildings and dead bodies.

The military said it had killed some 200 Hamas and other militants and detained hundreds more in clashes in the area of the hospital, and had seized weapons and intelligence documents.

Hundreds rushed to the area around the hospital to investigate the damage and say they found bodies inside and outside the facility.

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A map showing Al Shifa Hospital
Pic: Maxar Technologies
Pic: Maxar Technologies

Before and after images show the sheer level of destruction at the hospital.

Pictures show the charred remains and damage to some of Shifa’s largest buildings, including the surgery building and emergency department.

Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals for military purposes and has raided several medical facilities.

But critics accuse the army of recklessly endangering civilians and further damaging a health sector already overwhelmed with war wounded.

The UN health agency said several patients died and dozens were put at risk during the raid, which brought even further destruction to the hospital.

Palestinians say Israeli troops forcibly evacuated homes near Shifa Hospital and forced hundreds of residents to march south.

Palestinians inspect damage in the area around Al Shifa Hospital. Pic: Reuters
Palestinians inspect damage in the area around al Shifa Hospital. Pic: Reuters

The damage around Al Shifa Hospital. Pic: Reuters
Pic: Reuters

At least 21 patients have died since the raid began, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus posted on X.

He said over 100 patients were still inside the compound, including four children and 28 critical patients, adding there were no nappies, urine bags or water to clean wounds and many patients suffered from infected wounds and dehydration.

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Palestinians inspect damage at Al Shifa Hospital. Pic: Reuters
Palestinians inspect damage in the area around Al Shifa Hospital. Pic: Reuters
Pics: Reuters

The military previously raided Shifa in November after saying Hamas had an elaborate command and control centre inside and underneath the compound.

It revealed a tunnel running beneath the hospital leading to a few rooms, as well as weapons it said it had confiscated from inside medical buildings, but nothing on the scale of what it had alleged before the raid.

Tens of thousands protest in Israel as Netanyahu’s undergoes surgery

It comes a day after tens of thousands of people in Israel took part in anti-government protests while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent “successful” surgery for a hernia.

Protesters in Jerusalem urged the government to reach a ceasefire deal to free dozens of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and called for an early election, which is not due to happen until the spring of 2026.

Hostage negotiations resumed on Sunday, according to an Egyptian state-run TV station citing security sources, but there were no signs a breakthrough was imminent.

Before his surgery Mr Netnayahu said he understood the pain the families of hostages are in, but argued calling for a new election nearly two years early would only halt hostage negotiations.

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‘Nothing will stop’ Rafah operation

‘No victory without going into Rafah’

Mr Netanyahu also repeated his vow for a military ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than half of the territory’s population is sheltering after fleeing from fighting.

“There is no victory without going into Rafah,” he said.

It comes amid reports from US news website Axios that the US and Israel are expecting to hold a virtual meeting on Monday to discuss alternative proposals put forward by President Joe Biden to stop an invasion of the city.

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