Israeli military withdraws from Gaza’s largest hospital

Israeli military withdraws from Gaza’s largest hospital

Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip — The Israeli military withdrew from Gaza’s largest hospital early Monday after a two-week raid, leaving behind several bodies and a vast swath of destruction, according to Palestinian residents.

The military has described the raid on Shifa Hospital in downtown Gaza City as one of the most successful operations of the nearly six-month war. It says it killed scores of Hamas and other militants, including senior operatives, and that it seized weapons and valuable intelligence. It confirmed forces had withdrawn Monday.

“Troops have completed precise operational activity in the area of the Shifa Hospital and exited the area of the hospital,” the military said, according to Agence France-Presse.

The U.N. health agency said several patients died and dozens were put at risk during the raid, which brought even further destruction to a hospital that had already largely ceased to function.

Days of heavy fighting showed that Hamas can still put up resistance even in one of the hardest-hit areas of Gaza.

Mohammed Mahdi, who was among hundreds of Palestinians who returned to the area, described a scene of “total destruction.” He said several buildings had been burned down and that he had counted six bodies in the area, including two in the hospital courtyard.

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