Israeli strikes hit near several hospitals in Gaza City

Israeli strikes hit near several hospitals in Gaza City
Israeli forces are pushing deeper into Gaza City, and striking the Al-Shifa Hospital and other civilian facilities, forcing thousands of civilians to flee south.
3 min read
10 November, 2023
Israeli strikes have continued to hit near Gaza City hospitals, killing scores of civilians [Getty]

Israeli strikes hit near several hospitals in Gaza City early Friday as the military pushed deeper into dense urban neighbourhoods in its ongoing war on Gaza, prompting increasing numbers of civilians to flee toward the south of the besieged and bombed territory.

Israel has targeted hospitals dozens of times in its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza. It claims Hamas fighters are hiding in hospitals and using the Shifa Hospital complex as their main command centre.

Both hospital staff and Hamas have denied this, saying Israel is creating a pretext to strike it.

Growing numbers of people have been living in and around Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, hoping it will be safer than their homes or United Nations shelters in the north, several of which have been hit repeatedly.

Israeli troops were around three kilometers from the hospital, according to its director.

Early Friday, Israel struck the Shifa courtyard and the obstetrics department, according to the head of the Gaza media office, Salama Maarouf.

A video at the scene recorded the sound of incoming fire waking people up in their makeshift shelters in the courtyard, followed by screams for an ambulance.

Maarouf told the television network Al Jazeera that strikes were carried out near three hospitals in total, but initially gave no casualty figures.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza later said one person had been killed at Shifa Hospital and several were wounded.

Gaza’s largest city is the focus of Israel’s campaign following Hamas' October 7 incursion.

More than 10,800 Palestinians have been killed since the hostilities began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. 

Another 2,650 people have been reported missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble.

Israeli has also agreed to start implementing a four-hour 'humanitarian pause' each day and to open a second route for people to flee the north.

More than 120,000 civilians fled between Sunday and Thursday, according to UN monitors.

On Thursday, crowds of Palestinian families stretching as far as the eye could see were walking south to escape Israeli airstrikes.

Those fleeing to the south face the prospect of ongoing airstrikes there, and dire humanitarian conditions .

On Friday, UN expert for the Palestinian territories Francesca Albanese called the four-hour pauses “cynical and cruel,” saying it was just enough “to let people breathe and remember what is the sound of life without bombing, before starting bombing them again.”