More than 70 surrendering ‘Hamas operatives’ emerge from Gaza hospital and hand over weapons – before more firearms are found stashed inside
More than 70 surrendering ‘Hamas operatives’ emerged from a Gaza hospital – some with weapons raised above their heads, video released today by the Israeli military appears to show.
Israel said its forces were operating in the area of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the north of the coastal strip when the men surrendered. It also found weapons inside the facility, reports said.
The IDF also said a number of terrorists were killed by its forces in the fighting, while those arrested were passed on to the Israel Security Agency (ISA), also known as Shin Bet, for further questioning, the IDF said.
Israeli forces were reported to have begun their assault on the hospital earlier this week after besieging and shelling it for several days. A Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesperson said IDF troops were rounding up men in the courtyard of the facility in Beit Lahiya, Northern Gaza, on Tuesday.
According to Al Jazeera, the spokesman said this included boys and medical staff.
More than 70 surrendering ‘ Hamas operatives’ emerged from a Gaza hospital – some with weapons raised above their heads, video released today appears to show
Israel ‘s military said it was operating in the area of the Kamal Adwan Hospital when the men surrendered. It also found weapons inside the facility, reports said, with footage and pictures from the site showing the men piling weapons and other equipment on the road outside
Footage released by the IDF, purportedly from outside the hospital, showed dozens of men, many of them young, exiting a building single file with their hands in the air.
In a long line, they are seen walking past piles of rubble and down a street.
Some without shirts are then shown coming forward and placing objects on the ground, including magazines, guns and what looks like a police baton.
There is also an assortment of other equipment such as torches.
In a statement posted to its Telegram channel, the IDF said: ‘During operational activity in the area of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, IDF troops located a building used by Hamas terrorist operatives and located weapons inside.
‘Additionally, during engagements with terrorists in the area of the hospital, a number of terrorists were killed by IDF troops.
‘During IDF activity in the area, over 70 terrorist operatives came out of the hospital with weapons in hand. The terrorists were transferred to field interrogators from Unit 504 in the Intelligence Directorate and ISA coordinators for further questioning.’
Since Israel launched its ground assault into the Gaza strip in late October, it has been criticised by rights groups and other countries for its targeting of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and medical facilities.
Footage released by the IDF, purportedly from outside the hospital (pictured), showed dozens of men, many of them young, exiting a building single file with their hands in the air
In a long line, the men are seen walking past piles of rubble and down a street
Some without shirts are then shown coming forward and placing objects on the ground, including magazines, guns and what looks like a police baton (pictured)
Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using hospitals, schools, mosques and vast tunnel systems beneath them as military bases – charges it denies.
Fewer than one-third of Gaza’s hospitals are partly functioning, the UN says, and the World Health Organization expressed its concern about the raid on Kamal Adwan.
The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said Wednesday that the hospital director and about 70 other medical staff ‘remain detained in an unknown location outside of the hospital’. It said Israeli forces had released five doctors and female staff but there were reports of ‘ill-treatment’ of those who had been held.
The Hamas-controlled health ministry said Israeli forces had ‘fired at patient rooms’. AFP was unable to confirm the situation independently.
The Jewish state launched its campaign in retaliation for a rampage by Hamas, the Iran-backed group that rules Gaza, whose fighters killed 1,200 Israelis and seized 240 hostages in a cross-border raid on October 7.
Since then, Israeli forces have besieged the coastal strip and laid much of it to waste, with nearly 19,000 people confirmed dead, according to Palestinian health officials, and thousands more feared buried under the rubble. Israeli air strikes across Gaza overnight killed at least 67 more, the health ministry said earlier.
Nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes, many several times, prompting more condemnation from abroad.
Israel pounded the length of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing families in their homes – even as Washington sent an envoy to encourage its ally to guard better against civilian casualties in its on-going war.
In Gaza’s southern city of Khan Yunis, smoke rose from a grey landscape of rubble which people combed with shovels and their bare hands after a strike.
One man sat on the broken concrete, wiping his eyes.
Smoke rises inside northern Gaza Strip following an airstrike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel, December 14
‘Around four people are still stuck under the rubble’ after an airplane hit the building ‘without a warning’, said Hassan Bayyout, 70.
US President Joe Biden, whose government has provided Israel with billions of dollars in military aid, delivered his sharpest rebuke of the war this week.
He said Israel’s ‘indiscriminate bombing’ of Gaza was eroding international support.
But Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to carry on ‘until victory’ and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the war will carry on ‘with or without international support’.
On Thursday, Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was due in Jerusalem for talks with Netanyahu and his war cabinet, a sign of the US pressure.
Sullivan told a Wall Street Journal event ahead of his trip that he would discuss a timetable to end the war and urge Israeli leaders ‘to move to a different phase from the kind of high-intensity operations that we see today’.
Netanyahu has said there is also ‘disagreement’ with Washington over how Gaza would be governed after the war.
Israel rejects the two-state solution Washington is insisting upon.
Qatar-based Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday that ‘any arrangement in Gaza or in the Palestinian cause without Hamas or the resistance factions is a delusion’.
This week, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly supported a non-binding resolution for a ceasefire, which Washington voted against.
The United Nations estimates 1.9 million out of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have been displaced.
The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said on Wednesday that Gazans were ‘facing the darkest chapter of their history’.
He said they are ‘now crammed into less than one-third’ of the territory, and hinted there could be an exodus to Egypt, ‘especially when the border is so close’.
Israeli military vehicles drive on the Israeli side of the border with northern Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel, December 14
Meanwhile, cold wintery rain has lashed the makeshift tents where the homeless struggle to survive without sufficient food, drinking water, medicines or cooking fuel, with diseases spreading.
After a strike in Rafah, where many Palestinians have fled, the faces of relatives were contorted in grief after they identified the body of a child, Muhannad Ashour, at Najjar hospital.
Despite the needs, aid distribution has largely stopped in most of Gaza, except on a limited basis in the Rafah area, the UN says.
COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said the military ‘is enabling tactical pauses for humanitarian purposes’.
One was taking place Thursday for four hours in a Rafah neighbourhood to allow civilians to restock supplies such as food and water, it said.
Israeli tank fire on Thursday shelled Gaza from the border area in southern Israel.
Militants have continued to fire rockets from Gaza towards Israeli territory.
The Palestinian health ministry said 10 people have been killed since Tuesday when Israeli forces in the West Bank began raiding Jenin, where the military says it has seized weapons, dismantled explosives laboratories, tunnel shafts and other military facilities.
The war has led to increased popular support for Hamas in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.
An Israeli soldier sits next to an artillery unit on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, December 14
In Israel, the army is coming under growing pressure to limit troop deaths – it says 116 have been killed in Gaza – and secure the release of remaining hostages.
Israeli authorities say 118 hostages are still believed to be alive in Gaza after their capture by militants on October 7. Some were released during an exchange for Palestinian prisoners during a week-long truce that ended on December 1.
The Israeli military said fighter jets on Thursday struck infrastructure and compounds of Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, after a munition was launched from Lebanon towards northern Israel. Israeli forces and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, have engaged in regular exchanges of fire since the Israel-Hamas war began.
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