Israeli forces beat, abduct Al Jazeera journalist at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital

Israeli forces beat, abduct Al Jazeera journalist at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital
Eyewitnesses cited by Al Jazeera said Ismail al-Ghoul and his team were beaten by Israeli forces before being taken to an undisclosed location.

2 min read
18 March, 2024
Israeli forces first raided and partially demolished the al-Shifa Hospital in November [Getty]

Israeli forces abducted Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Ismail al-Ghoul and his crew during a raid on Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital on Monday, where dozens of evacuees and medical staff were also detained.

Eyewitnesses cited by Al Jazeera said al-Ghoul and his team were beaten before being taken to an undisclosed location.

A broadcasting vehicle belonging to the Doha-based news network was  destroyed by an Israeli tank, an Al Jazeera source told AFP.

It comes after a brutal Israeli nighttime raid on Al-Shifa, with the WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus slamming the move, saying "hospitals should never be battlegrounds".

The Gaza health ministry said the Israeli snipers and quadcopters were indiscriminately targeting "anyone who tries to move", adding that several people were killed and wounded.

Reports received by Al Jazeera said that bodies lay in the hospital courtyard as Israeli forces invaded.

Journalists trapped inside the building reported on the attack as it happened.

“This might be my last video, we’re now besieged inside al-Shifa Hospital. We’re being heavily shot at,” journalist Wadea Abu Alsoud said in a video posted to Insagram from the hospital.

“The occupation suddenly raided the hospital and its vicinity. As you can hear now, there are intense clashes in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Hospital. We’re hearing sounds coming from the gate. There is shrapnel falling over the hospital’s yard.”

Israel first raided al-Shifa in November, claiming that Gaza's largest medical complex was a major Hamas command and control centre. After the hospital was invaded, Israel failed to provide compelling evidence of a major military operations centre at the hospital.

The November attack forced the evacuation of vulnerable patients from the hospital, including incubated babies.

Israel's military on Monday called on Gazans to evacuate the area in and around the territory's largest hospital as the assault on the complex, crowded with patients and displaced people, raged.

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A number of staff were also abducted, including hospital director Muhammad Abu Salmiya, who remains in Israeli detention.

Last month, Al Jazeera accused Israel of systematically targeting its employees working in Gaza.

Two Al Jazeera journalists have been killed in Gaza by Israel, while bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh's family - including his wife, children and grandson - were killed in Israeli strikes. 

As of Monday, at least 95 journalists and media workers - including 90 Palestinians - have been confirmed killed in Israel's war on Gaza, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), citing "preliminary investigations".