Gaza: Al-Nasser Hospital evacuated after Israeli threats and 'targeted murders'

Gaza: Al-Nasser Hospital evacuated after Israeli threats and 'targeted murders'
Thousands of people are trying to flee southern Gaza’s biggest hospital as Israeli snipers shot dead patients and visitors, with new threats from Israel's army.
2 min read
14 February, 2024
Palestinians displaced by Israeli attacks have taken refuge in Gaza's hospitals (Photo by Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Palestinians fear a new massacre at Gaza's Al-Nasser Hospital, the largest remaining health centre in the south of the enclave, with thousands of civilians attempting to flee the hospital grounds following an Israeli-forced eviction order.

The hospital was previously targeted by Israeli snipers who killed at least two people, injured five others and severely injured a nurse on February 10 according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The Gaza Health Ministry said last week that at least 10 people have been killed inside the complex, including three shot and killed on Tuesday.

An estimated 300 medics, 450 patients, and hundreds of displaced people were still in the hospital on Wednesday morning.

Those sheltering inside the hospital have been trying to flee after the Israeli military airdropped pamphlets on Tuesday ordering displaced people to leave.

MSF said on Tuesday it was "very worried" about the situation unfolding there and "called on Israeli forces to ensure that all medical staff, patients and displaced people are unharmed".

The relief group said that people sheltering at the hospital were too scared to evacuate due to reports of Israeli troops opening fire on anyone escaping the site.

Reporters on the ground say face-recognition cameras have been installed at the entrance of the hospital, which have also sparked fears that Israel might use them to target people.

Videos that widely circulated on social media show hundreds of people leaving the hospital grounds as Israeli quadricopter drones hover over the premises.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also denounced "intensifying hostilities" around the hospital.

"We’re deeply concerned about the safety of patients and health personnel," WHO head Tedros Ghebreyesus said on X. "We repeat: health MUST be protected at all times."

Israel has repeatedly attacked hospitals since the start of its offensive on Gaza, in clear violation of international and humanitarian law. In the first weeks of the offensive, the Israeli army notably raided Al-Shifa Hospital – the largest medical facility in Gaza – after giving those inside only one hour to evacuate.

The UN has recorded hundreds of attacks on healthcare and most of Gaza's hospitals are out of service due to Israeli attacks.