Youssef Abul Reesh, an official from the Hamas-run health ministry who is inside Gaza’s Shifa hospital, where the terror group is accused of maintaining a command center, says he saw Israeli tanks inside the complex and “dozens of soldiers and commandos inside the emergency and reception buildings.”
The Israel Defense Forces has said it is carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the facility.
Estimates for the number of patients, staff and displaced people inside the hospital complex range from the hundreds to tens of thousands, with the true number impossible to independently verify.
Israel believes that some of the some 240 hostages in Gaza could be held captive in Hamas’s labyrinth of tunnels and rooms beneath the hospital.
The IDF said it had provided evacuation routes for civilians and given Hamas 12 hours’ notice that any military operation inside the hospital must cease.