Israeli forces exit Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, leaving complex in ruins

Israeli forces concluded a two-week operation at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and withdrew on Monday, April 1, according to the Israeli military, leaving a swath of devastation across the hospital complex.

Residents of the surrounding areas in the Gaza Strip, home to the territory’s largest medical facility, hurried to evaluate the extent of the destruction in nearby residential districts following the withdrawal.

The military stated it had neutralized and detained hundreds of gunmen during clashes near the hospital, in addition to seizing weapons and intelligence materials. Contrary to these claims, Hamas and hospital personnel deny any militant activity within the medical facilities.

A spokesperson for Gaza’s Civil Emergency Service reported that Israeli forces had killed two individuals found in handcuffs within the hospital grounds. Moreover, bulldozers were allegedly employed to disturb the site, including unearthing previously buried bodies.

Reuters has not independently verified the claims of executions, and there was no immediate response from the Israeli military to requests for comment.

Gaza’s health authorities have reported that the Israeli military offensive, initiated on Oct. 7, has led to over 32,000 Palestinian deaths. While the majority of those killed are described as civilians by health officials, Israel contends that at least a third were combatants.

The ongoing conflict intensified after Hamas militants breached the border, attacking communities in southern Israel, resulting in 1,200 fatalities and the abduction of 253 people, according to Israeli counts.