May 18, 2024

Israeli army seizes broader management of northern Gaza and captures key authorities buildings


KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip: The Israeli army seized broader management of northern Gaza on Tuesday, together with capturing the territory’s legislature constructing and its police headquarters, in good points that carried excessive symbolic worth within the nation’s quest to crush the ruling Hamas militant group.

In the meantime, Palestinian authorities referred to as for a cease-fire to evacuate three dozen newborns and different sufferers trapped inside Gaza’s greatest hospital as Israeli forces battled Hamas within the streets simply exterior.

Inside a number of the captured buildings, troopers held up the Israeli flag and army flags in celebration. In a nationally televised information convention, Protection Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned Hamas had “misplaced management” of northern Gaza and that Israel made important good points in Gaza Metropolis.

However requested about the timeframe for the struggle, Gallant mentioned: “We’re speaking about lengthy months, not a day or two.”

One Israeli commander in Gaza, recognized solely as Lt. Col. Gilad, mentioned in a video that his forces close to Shifa Hospital had seized authorities buildings, colleges and residential buildings the place they discovered weapons and eradicated fighters.

The military mentioned it had captured the legislature, the Hamas police headquarters and a compound housing Hamas’ army intelligence headquarters. The buildings are highly effective symbols, however their strategic worth was unclear. Hamas fighters are believed to be positioned in underground bunkers.

For days, the Israeli military has encircled Shifa Hospital, the ability it says Hamas hides in, and beneath, to make use of civilians as shields for its predominant command base. Hospital employees and Hamas deny the declare.

Tons of of sufferers, employees and displaced individuals had been trapped inside, with provides dwindling and no electrical energy to run incubators and different lifesaving tools. After days with out refrigeration, morgue employees on Tuesday dug a mass grave within the yard for greater than 120 our bodies, officers mentioned.

Israel has vowed to finish Hamas rule in Gaza after the militants’ Oct. 7 assault into Israel during which they killed some 1,200 individuals and took roughly 240 hostages. The Israeli authorities has acknowledged it doesn’t know what it is going to do with the territory after Hamas’ defeat.

The onslaught — one of the intense bombardments to date this century — has been disastrous for Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians.

Greater than 11,200 individuals, two-thirds of them girls and minors, have been killed in Gaza, in line with the Palestinian Well being Ministry in Ramallah. About 2,700 individuals have been reported lacking. The ministry’s depend doesn’t differentiate between civilian and militant deaths.

Nearly the complete inhabitants of Gaza has squeezed into the southern two-thirds of the tiny territory, the place circumstances have been deteriorating whilst bombardment there continues. About 200,000 fled the north in current days, the UN mentioned Tuesday, although tens of hundreds are believed to stay.

The UN company for Palestinian refugees mentioned Tuesday that its gas storage facility in Gaza is empty and that it’s going to quickly finish aid operations, together with bringing restricted provides of meals and medication in from Egypt for greater than 600,000 individuals sheltering in colleges and different services within the south.

“With out gas, the humanitarian operation in Gaza is coming to an finish. Many extra individuals will undergo and can doubtless die,” mentioned Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA. Israel has repeatedly rejected permitting gas into Gaza, saying it will likely be diverted by Hamas for army use.

PLIGHT OF HOSPITALS

Preventing has raged for days round Shifa Hospital, a fancy a number of metropolis blocks throughout on the middle of Gaza Metropolis that has now “become a cemetery,” its director mentioned in a press release.

The Well being Ministry mentioned 40 sufferers, together with three infants, have died since Shifa’s emergency generator ran out of gas Saturday. One other 36 infants are vulnerable to dying as a result of there isn’t any energy for incubators, in line with the ministry.

The Israeli army mentioned it began an effort to switch incubators to Shifa. However they’d be ineffective with out electrical energy, mentioned Christian Lindmeier, a World Well being Group spokesman.

The Well being Ministry has proposed evacuating the hospital with the supervision of the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross and transferring the sufferers to hospitals in Egypt, however has not acquired any response, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra mentioned.

Whereas Israel says it’s keen to permit employees and sufferers to evacuate, some Palestinians who’ve made it out say Israeli forces have fired at evacuees.

Israel says its claims of a Hamas command middle in and beneath Shifa are primarily based on intelligence, but it surely has not offered visible proof to assist them. Denying the claims, the Gaza Well being Ministry says it has invited worldwide organizations to research the ability.

The Palestinian Pink Crescent mentioned Tuesday it had evacuated remaining sufferers, docs and displaced households from one other Gaza Metropolis hospital, Al-Quds, “after greater than 10 days of siege, throughout which medical and humanitarian provides had been prevented from reaching the hospital.”

In a publish on X, it blamed the Israeli military for bombarding the hospital and firing at these inside.

The White Home’s nationwide safety council spokesperson, John Kirby, mentioned the US has unspecified intelligence that Hamas and one other Palestinian militants use Shifa and different hospitals and tunnels beneath them to assist army operations and maintain hostages.

The intelligence is predicated on a number of sources, and the US independently collected the knowledge, a US official mentioned on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate issues.

Kirby mentioned the US doesn’t assist airstrikes on hospitals and doesn’t wish to see “a firefight in a hospital the place harmless individuals” are attempting to get care.

MARCH FOR HOSTAGES

Hamas launched a video late Monday displaying one of many hostages, 19-year-old Noa Marciano, earlier than and after she was killed in what Hamas mentioned was an Israeli strike. The army later declared her a fallen soldier, with out figuring out a reason behind dying.

She is the primary hostage confirmed to have died in captivity. 4 had been launched by Hamas and a fifth was rescued by Israeli forces.

Households and supporters of the round 240 individuals being held hostage by Hamas began a protest march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The plight of the hostages has dominated public discourse for the reason that Oct. 7 assault, with solidarity protests held throughout the nation. The marchers, who anticipate to succeed in Jerusalem on Saturday, say the federal government should do extra to deliver house their loved-ones.

“The place are you?” Shelly Shem Tov, whose son, Omer, 21, is among the many captives, referred to as out to Netanyahu.

“We’ve no energy anymore. We’ve no energy. Convey again our youngsters and our households house.”

BATTLE IN GAZA CITY

Impartial accounts of the combating in Gaza Metropolis have been almost unattainable to collect, as communications to the north have largely collapsed.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari mentioned Israeli forces have accomplished the takeover of Shati refugee camp, a densely constructed district bordering Gaza Metropolis’s middle, and are transferring about freely within the metropolis as an entire.

Movies launched by the Israeli army present troops transferring by means of town, firing into buildings. Bulldozers push down constructions as tanks roll by means of streets surrounded by partially collapsed towers.

The movies painting a battle the place troops are rooting out pockets of Hamas fighters and tearing down buildings they discover them in, whereas progressively dismantling the group’s tunnel community.

Israel says it has killed a number of thousand fighters, together with vital mid-level commanders, whereas 46 of its personal troopers have been killed in Gaza. In current days Hamas rocket fireplace into Israel — fixed all through the struggle — has waned, although two individuals had been wounded Tuesday in a rocket assault on Tel Aviv. Particulars of the Israeli account and the extent of Hamas losses couldn’t be independently confirmed.