Israel sends troops into 'besieged' Gaza hospital

Israel sent troops into a hospital in war-torn Gaza on Thursday where it said hostages may have been held, as medics warned the key medical facility was operating in "near impossible" conditions.

The raid came after days of intense fighting between troops and Hamas militants around the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis — one of the largest medical sites in southern Gaza, and one of the territory's few hospitals that are still operational.

Israel, which has accused Hamas militants of using hospitals for military purposes, said it was carrying out a "precise and limited operation" at the facility with "no obligation" for patients or staff to evacuate.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said there was "credible intelligence from a number of sources, including released hostages, indicating that Hamas held hostages at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis and that there may be bodies of our hostages" there.

The health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported that thousands of people who had sought refuge in the complex, including patients, have been made to leave in recent days.

It has called the situation at Nasser "catastrophic", with staff unable to move bodies to the morgue because of the risks involved.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) described a "chaotic situation" in the hospital after it was shelled early Thursday, killing and wounding multiple people.

"Our medical staff have had to flee the hospital, leaving patients behind," MSF said, with one employee unaccounted for and another detained by Israeli forces.

The World Health Organization has described Nasser Hospital as a critical facility "for all of Gaza", where only a minority of hospitals are even partly operational.

At least 28,663 people...

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