Displaced Palestinians leave one of Gaza's main hospitals after weeks of isolation due to fighting

RAFAH (Gaza Strip) – Palestinians have begun evacuating the main hospital in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, according to videos posted by medics on Wednesday. Weeks of intense fighting isolated the medical facility and claimed the lives of many people inside.

the war Between Israel and Hamas, it has now entered its fifth monthGaza's health sector has been devastated, with less than half of its hospitals partially functioning, and with dozens of people killed and injured in daily bombings. Israel accuses the militants of this Using hospitals and other civilian buildings As a cover.

Khan Yunis is the main target of the ongoing ground attack that Israel says is targeting it It will soon be expanded to include the city of Rafah, located in the far south of the Gaza Strip. About 1.4 million people – more than half of the region's population – live in crowded camps, apartments and shelters in the town located on the Egyptian border.

The United States, which has provided crucial military and diplomatic support to Israel, is working with Qatar and Egypt to achieve this Trying to broker a ceasefire The remaining 130 hostages returned, and about a quarter of them are believed to be dead.

Negotiators held talks in Cairo on Tuesday attended by CIA Director William Burns and Israeli spy agency head David Barnea, but there were no signs of a breakthrough. Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his delegation not to return to the talks unless Hamas eased its demands.

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Netanyahu pledged to continue the war until “complete victory” over Hamas was achieved and all hostages were returned.

Hamas said it would not release all prisoners until Israel ends its offensive, withdraws from Gaza and releases a large number of Palestinian prisoners, including senior activists. Netanyahu rejected these demands, describing them as “delusional.”

In northern Israel, a rocket attack wounded at least eight people on Wednesday when one of the shells hit a house in the town of Safed. Israeli media reported that a woman was killed in the attack, but the army did not immediately confirm these reports.

Lebanese security officials and local media said that Israel carried out air strikes in southern Lebanon in response, killing four people, including a Syrian woman and her two Lebanese children, and wounding at least nine.

Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which supports Hamas, have exchanged fire along the border almost every day since the start of the war in Gaza. Which increases the risk of a broader conflict. Hezbollah did not immediately claim responsibility for the missile attack.

Videos of the evacuation in Khan Yunis showed dozens of Palestinians carrying their belongings in bags and exiting the Nasser Hospital complex. A doctor wearing a green hospital uniform walked in front of the crowd, some of whom were carrying white flags.

The Israeli army said it had opened a safe route to allow civilians to leave the hospital, while medics and patients could remain inside. She added that the forces were ordered to give priority to the safety of civilians, patients, medical personnel and medical facilities during the operation.

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The army had ordered the evacuation of the hospital and its surrounding areas last month. But as with other health facilities, medics said patients were unable to safely leave or move elsewhere, and there were still thousands of people displaced by fighting elsewhere. Palestinians say there is no safe place in the besieged area, as Israel continues to launch strikes throughout.

The Gaza Ministry of Health said last week that Israeli snipers stationed in surrounding buildings were preventing people from entering or leaving the hospital. She added that ten people were killed inside the complex over the past week, including three who were shot dead on Tuesday.

The ministry says that about 300 medical staff are treating about 450 patients, including people injured in the raids. It says 10,000 displaced people were taking shelter in the facility.

The war broke out after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, most of them civilians. He took about 250 prisoners. More than 100 hostages were released during a week-long ceasefire in November in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians detained by Israel.

Israel responded to the attack by firing missiles One of the bloodiest and most destructive air and ground attacks In modern history. At least 28,576 Palestinians were killed, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

This includes more than 100 bodies transported to hospitals in the past 24 hours. The ministry stated that more than 68,000 people were injured in the war, including about 11,000 who needed to be evacuated to receive urgent treatment.

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About 80% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million people have been displaced from their homes, which are large areas in northern Gaza. It was completely destroyed The humanitarian crisis has left a quarter of the population starving.

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Magdy reported from Cairo and Leidman from Tel Aviv, Israel. Associated Press writer Basem Marwa in Beirut contributed to this report.

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Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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