Israeli Troops Withdraw from Shifa Hospital After Two-Week Raid


Israeli troops have withdrawn from Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the largest medical facility in the region, following a two-week raid that resulted in widespread devastation. The withdrawal comes amidst a backdrop of mounting frustration in Israel, with thousands protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging action to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza.

The raid on Shifa Hospital, which saw its main buildings reduced to burned-out husks, was hailed as a major battlefield victory by the Israeli military. They claim to have killed 200 militants during the operation, although the identities of all those killed could not be confirmed independently.

Meanwhile, tensions escalated further as an Israeli airstrike destroyed the consular section of Iran’s embassy in Syria, resulting in the death of a senior Iranian military adviser and several others. This strike signals an intensification of Israel’s targeting of Iranian military officials and their allies in Syria, particularly following recent attacks by Hamas militants supported by Iran.

In a separate development, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the immediate shutdown of satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera, accusing the channel of harming Israeli security and inciting violence. The move follows the passing of a law allowing Israel to halt the Qatari-owned channel’s broadcasting from the country.

On the humanitarian front, a second shipment of food aid arrived via a new maritime route from Cyprus, providing much-needed relief to the crisis-stricken region. The aid shipment, organized by the United Arab Emirates and the World Central Kitchen, aims to alleviate the dire situation faced by the residents of Gaza.

The raid on Shifa Hospital highlighted Hamas’s continued ability to resist Israeli forces, despite previous claims of dismantling the group in northern Gaza. The hospital, once the heart of Gaza’s health system, has been left in ruins, further straining an already overwhelmed healthcare sector.

Israeli authorities cited the presence of senior Hamas operatives regrouping at Shifa Hospital as justification for the raid, claiming to have killed six officials from Hamas’ military wing during the operation. Additionally, the military seized weapons and valuable intelligence during the raid.

While the Israeli military denies harming civilians during the operation, critics accuse them of recklessly endangering civilian lives and decimating the already fragile health sector in Gaza. The raid resulted in the deaths of at least 21 patients, according to the World Health Organization, with many more suffering from critical injuries and infections.

Prime Minister Netanyahu faces mounting pressure to resolve the hostage situation in Gaza, where Hamas and other militants are believed to be holding around 100 hostages and the remains of 30 others. Despite previous releases in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, efforts to secure the remaining hostages have yet to yield results.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has taken a heavy toll on the civilian population of Gaza, with thousands displaced and facing food insecurity. As Israel vows to continue its offensive until Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are freed, the international community watches closely, urging restraint and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.