Hamas built its main headquarters under Gaza’s largest medical center.
By Joshua Marks
November 12, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces will assist on Sunday with the evacuation of infants from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Saturday night.
“There is no siege, I repeat no siege, on Shifa Hospital. The east side of the hospital is open for the safe passage of Gazans who wish to leave the hospital,” said Hagari. “We’re speaking directly and regularly with the hospital staff. The staff of Shifa Hospital has requested that tomorrow we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed,” he continued.
Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman, on Sunday tweeted new instructions for residents of the northern Gaza Strip to relocate to the safe zone south across the Wadi Gaza, and also included a self-evacuation guide from Shifa Hospital.
“The self-evacuation corridor will also operate from Al-Shifa Medical Complex via Al-Wahda Street and then to Salah al-Din Road and move to the south of Wadi Gaza,” wrote Adraee.
Adraee said that the IDF would again allow southbound traffic on the Salah al-Din axis on Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. He also announced a temporary cessation of military activities in the village of Jabalia and Ezbet Mlin to allow for civilians to evacuate south from the hours of 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“Join hundreds of thousands of residents who have realized that Hamas has lost control of the northern Gaza Strip and have decided to protect themselves and their family members by moving south to the area south of Wadi Gaza,” wrote Adraee.
“If Hamas elements still prevent you from doing so, contact us by text via Telegram @gaza_saver or by phone number. +97250-341-0322.”
The IDF announced on Sunday that in addition to Shifa, the military was enabling safe passage by foot and ambulance from Rantisi and Nasser hospitals.
Israel’s military also published an audio recording of a phone call between a senior officer in Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) with the Shifa Hospital manager on Saturday evening instructing him on how to safety exit the hospital.
Fierce fighting was reported on Sunday morning in Gaza City as the IDF closed in on Shifa, the largest medical center in the Strip and where the IDF says that the main headquarters of the Hamas terror organization is located.
The IDF in recent weeks has provided evidence that Hamas uses Shifa and other Gaza hospitals for its operational activities, which are conducted in a massive tunnel system underneath the complexes. The patients at these hospitals are used as human shields and to hide Hamas’s activities, according to the IDF.
Israel also has provided evidence that Hamas has stockpiles of fuel and other supplies that it keeps for itself, refusing to share it with Shifa Hospital or the Gaza population.
“There is no electricity. Medical devices stopped. Patients, especially those in intensive care, started to die,” Shifa Director Mohammed Abu Selmia told AP on Saturday.
During the press conference on Saturday night, Hagari also spoke of the more than 200 Israelis being held hostage in Gaza, who were taken captive during Hamas’s murderous Oct. 7 rampage in the western Negev, during which they killed 1,200 persons and wounded over 5,000 others.
“There is something that the world must not forget, and we will not let the world forget it,” Hagari said. “Hamas has been holding hostages, 239 men, women, and children, elderly and babies—don’t forget babies—for 36 days. This is a crime against humanity.”
Over 14,00 tons of aid entered Strip since start of war
COGAT, the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, said on Sunday that approximately 14,320 tons of humanitarian aid have entered the Gaza Strip from the Rafah Crossing with Egypt since the start of the war.
“There is no limit to the amount of food, water and medical equipment that can enter Gaza. We invite the international community to coordinate and we will facilitate,” said COGAT.
Out of the 905 trucks that have entered the Strip, 189 of them carried over 2,630 tons of medical equipment, according to COGAT, who also said that plans are underway for the establishment of several field hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip and that floating hospitals are scheduled to arrive in the coming days.
This is in addition to 12 donated ambulances that have already arrived in Gaza, and international medical teams that have entered the Strip.
Jordan also air-dropped medical supplies into Gaza, in coordination with Israel.
IDF kills ‘numerous’ terrorists in Al-Shati Camp
Israeli forces killed “numerous” terrorists and destroyed terrorist infrastructure during battles over the past day in the Al-Shati Camp in northern Gaza, the IDF said on Sunday.
During one of the battles, troops identified civilians in a building and secured an evacuation route for them. During the evacuation, terrorists fired at the troops, who returned fire, killing the gunmen.
Ground forces also guided an aircraft to eliminate a terror cell barricaded inside a house, and a fighter jet struck the source of an anti-tank missile launch.
On Saturday, troops operating in the northern Gaza Strip directed an IDF drone to kill four terrorists in the area.