Social Navigation

‘All men 16 years and above…’: Israel forces storm into Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital; patients, staff ‘being interrogated’


Israeli forces on November 15 stormed into the Al Shifa hospital, the main medical facility in the besieged Gaza Strip, alleging that it was partly being used by the Palestinian militant group Hamas as a hideout and for storage of weapons.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF), in its statement, claimed that the troops are acting in a “professional” manner to prevent any harm to the civilians who are present inside the medical facility.

“All men 16 years and above, raise your hands,” Arabic speaking Israeli soldiers shouted, as they entered into the main building, news agency AFP reported, citing a journalist present at the spot.

According to BBC, the Israeli soldiers are moving from room to room and interrogating people, including patients and staff, at the hospital. However, no shooting was taking place, the news channel reported, citing a reporter present inside the medical facility.

Men ‘stripped naked’, checked for weapons

Around 1,000 Palestinian males were ordered to assembly in the hospital’s main courtyard, AFP reported, citing the reporter which is in touch with the news agency from the ground. “Exit the building towards the courtyard and surrender,” a soldier could be heard as saying, the journalist reportedly said.

Some of the male Palestinians assembled in the courtyard were “stripped naked” and searched for weapons and explosives, the AFP report stated.

The IDF, in a statement, said its raid at Al Shifa is precise and targeted. “Based on intelligence information and an operational necessity, IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital,” it said.

“The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians,” the statement added.

A doctor at the hospital, while speaking to Reuters, stated that shooting was taking place “around the hospital and within the hospital”. 

It’s really horrible you can feel that it’s very near to the hospital. And then we realised that the tanks are moving around the hospital,” Doctor Ahmed El Mokhallalati told the news agency by telephone.

“They just parked in front of the hospital emergency department. All kinds of weapons were used around the hospital. They targeted the hospital directly. We try to avoid being near the windows,” he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed “deep concern” over the military incursion inside the hospital. “We’ve lost touch again with health personnel at the hospital. We’re extremely worried for their and their patients’ safety,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.


Milestone Alert!Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world Click here to know more.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Updated: 15 Nov 2023, 05:01 PM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.