Fears grow for crucial Gaza hospital after Israeli raid

Fears mounted Saturday for people trapped in one of Gaza's main hospitals after Israeli troops raided the facility and the Hamas-run territory's health ministry said several patients had died there from a lack of oxygen.

The ministry said late Friday that at least 120 patients and five medical teams were stuck without water, food and electricity in the Nasser Hospital in Gaza's main southern city of Khan Yunis.

In recent days, intense fighting has raged around the hospital — one of the Palestinian territory's last remaining major medical facilities that remains operational.

Troops entered the hospital on Thursday, acting on what the military said was "credible intelligence" that hostages seized in Hamas' unprecedented Oct. 7 attack had been held there and that the bodies of some may still be inside.

The army said it had arrested 20 people, seized weapons and retrieved "medications with the names of Israeli hostages" in the hospital.

A witness, who declined to be named for safety reasons, told AFP the Israeli forces had shot "at anyone who moved inside the hospital".

Gaza's health ministry also said power was cut off and the generators had stopped after the raid, leading to the deaths of five patients.

It said it held Israel "responsible... considering that the complex is now under its full control".

The Israeli army insisted it had made every effort to keep the hospital supplied with power. "Troops worked to repair the generator while... special forces brought in an alternative generator," it said.

But the World Health Organization on Friday slammed the Israeli operation, with spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic telling reporters that "more degradation to the hospital means more lives being lost".

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