Israeli Forces Withdraw from Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital Following Two-Week Operation

Israeli Forces Withdraw from Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital Following Two-Week Operation

Israeli forces have completed their withdrawal from Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital after a two-week operation, during which they engaged in intense clashes with Palestinian gunmen. The military described the sweep of the hospital, previously the enclave's largest, as a strategic move to root out Hamas and other militant presence while ensuring the safety of civilians, patients, and medical staff.

According to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the top military spokesman, the operation yielded significant results, including the elimination of scores of Hamas, the arrest of approximately 900 suspected militants, and the seizure of weapons and valuable intelligence. Hagari emphasized that the military's actions were aimed at dismantling militant infrastructure, denying allegations of civilian harm, and highlighting efforts to evacuate and provide assistance to patients during the operation.

However, Palestinian residents reported a scene of devastation upon the Israeli withdrawal, with several buildings damaged or destroyed, and casualties among patients and medical workers. Mohammed Mahdi, a resident who returned to the area, described the aftermath as "total destruction," with buildings burned down and casualties left behind.

The raid on Al Shifa Hospital has sparked controversy and condemnation from international organizations. The U.N. health agency expressed concern over the impact on patients and the broader health sector in Gaza, stating that the raid exacerbated an already dire situation. Critics accused Israeli forces of recklessly endangering civilians and exacerbating humanitarian suffering in the region.

This withdrawal marks the end of a two-week period of heightened tensions and violence in Gaza, underscoring the ongoing challenges in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The aftermath of the raid underscores the need for renewed efforts toward a sustainable ceasefire and a lasting resolution to the conflict, as both sides grapple with the humanitarian fallout of the recent escalation in violence.

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