Israel-Hamas war live: Israeli military says it is carrying out operation inside Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital | Israel-Hamas war

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Key events

182 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since 7 October, the UN says, 46 of whom were children. Eight people were killed in the 24 hours to Tuesday.

Fuel Israel will allow into Gaza ‘represents fraction’ of humanitarian fuel needs, says UN

That UNOCHA update also says that while Israel has agreed to today allow fuel into Gaza for the first time since 7 October, the fuel will be “used exclusively to run trucks for the distribution of incoming humanitarian aid”.

The UN agency said, “This represents a fraction of the fuel needs for humanitarian operations.”

Here is the full paragraph from the UN update on Tuesday evening:

Although 91 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered from Egypt on 14 November, the distribution of supplies to shelters, clinics and other beneficiaries has largely come to a halt due to lack of fuel. The Israeli authorities have indicated that, on 15 November, they would allow the entry of a limited amount of fuel into Gaza, to be used exclusively to run trucks for the distribution of incoming humanitarian aid. This represents a fraction of the fuel needs for humanitarian operations. Meanwhile, the entry of fuel for any other use, including the operation of generators at hospitals, and at water and sanitation facilities, remains banned. This will be the first time since 7 October that fuel is allowed into Gaza.

Only one northern Gaza hospital still operational

In case you missed this earlier, the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that just a since hospital in northern Gaza is still operational.

In its latest update, published on Tuesday evening in New York, it said:

Only one of the hospitals in Gaza city and northern Gaza (hereafter: the north) is reportedly still operational at a minimum level for those inside the hospital, as of 14 November; all others have ceased operations due to the lack of power, medical consumables, oxygen, food and water, compounded by bombardments and fighting in their vicinities. Al Ahli Hospital, in Gaza city, currently accommodates over 500 patients and is reportedly the sole medical facility able to admit patients in the north. However, it too faces increasing shortages and challenges.

What the IDF has said about entering al-Shifa hospital

Here is the Israeli announcement from early on Wednesday morning announcing that it was carrying out an operation inside al-Shifa hospital.

The IDF said on its english-language account on X:

The full post says:

Operational Update: IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, based on intelligence information and an operational necessity. The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our hostages. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza.

The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields.

In recent weeks, the IDF has publicly warned time and again that Hamas’ continued military use of the Shifa hospital jeopardizes its protected status under international law, and enabled ample time to stop this unlawful abuse of the hospital.

Yesterday, the IDF conveyed to the relevant authorities in Gaza once again that all military activities within the hospital must cease within 12 hours. Unfortunately, they did not.

The IDF has also facilitated wide-scale evacuations of the hospital and maintained regular dialogue with hospital authorities. We call upon all Hamas terrorists present in the hospital to surrender.

On its hebrew X account, the IDF appeared to signal that once inside the hopsital, it would continue to have a presence there, writing, “in the continuation of the operation, incubators, medical equipment and baby food are expected to be transferred to the hospital”.

What are the competing claims about Hamas operations inside al-Shifa?

Jason Burke

Jason Burke

Israel claims that Hamas has built its headquarters in bunkers and tunnels under the hospital, effectively using the building, patients and staff as a human shield. Security officials have also said that, after the surprise attacks into Israel by Hamas which killed 1,200 Israelis, mainly civilians in their homes or at a dance party, the senior Hamas leaders have been based in a “command complex” under the hospital.

At a recent press conference an IDF spokesperson displayed a satellite photograph of the hospital site with military “command” elements marked on it, which it described as an illustration based on “the true material that we have in our hands”. In footage said to be from an interrogation, a Hamas militant captured last month described how Hamas had “hidden in the hospitals”. Israel has also released other evidence apparently showing tunnels close to or in other medical facilities in Gaza.

Hamas and officials of the Hamas-run health authorities in Gaza have denied the claims, saying they are propaganda used to justify attacks on health facilities. Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a British doctor working at al-Shifa described the Israeli claim as an “outlandish excuse”. Human Rights Watch, the US campaign group, said it could not corroborate the Israeli allegation.

How many people are inside al-Shifa hospital?

Figures for the number of people sheltering inside the al-Shifa hospital complex differ widely.

Marwan Abu Sada, the head of surgery at al-Shifa,told the Guardian on Tuesday that an estimated 15,000 people were sheltering in al-Shifa as of Saturday morning, after thousands fled the intensifying bombardments.

The World Health Organization said that about 1,500 people were sheltering in al-Shifa. On Sunday the WHO said, “There are between 600 and 650 inpatients at al-Shifa, as well as 200 to 500 health workers, and about 1,500 displaced people seeking shelter there.”

On Wednesday, as the IDF announced that it had entered the hospital, Ahmed Mokhallalati, a doctor at al-Shifa, told Al Jazeera that there are 650 patients at the hopsital, with 100 in critical condition.

He said between 2,000 and 3,000 people were sheltering at the hospital and that 700 medics and administrators were there.

UN negotiating resolution demanding ‘immediate extended humanitarian pauses’

The UN Security Council is negotiating a new resolution that demands “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” throughout the Gaza Strip but makes no mention of a cease-fire, the Associated Press reports.

The resolution, drafted by Malta, does demand that “all parties” comply with their obligations under international law.

The Security Council has rejected four resolutions on the war, and many of its 15 members have said they don’t want a vote on a new resolution unless it’s going to be approved.

The draft, obtained Tuesday by AP, says the pauses should be “for a sufficient number of days” to open humanitarian corridors and enable unhindered access for UN, Red Cross and other aid workers to get water, electricity, fuel, food and medical supplies to those in need as well as to repair essential infrastructure and enable urgent rescue and recovery efforts.

Youssef Abul Reesh, an official from the Hamas-run health ministry who is inside the hospital, has told AFP he can see tanks inside the al-Shifa complex and “dozens of soldiers and commandos inside the emergency and reception buildings.”

Israeli defence officials say they will allow fuel shipments into Gaza for aid distribution

Israeli defense officials say they have agreed to allow fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip for humanitarian operations, the Associated Press reports.

It is the first time that Israel has allowed fuel into the territory since the Hamas militant group’s bloody cross-border invasion on 7 October.

Israel declared war and barred fuel shipments after the attack, saying Hamas would divert supplies for military use. But fuel is key to operations at Gaza hospitals, which run on generators, and the shortages hindered the United Nations from delivering humanitarian aid.

COGAT, the Israeli defence body responsible for Palestinian affairs, announced early Wednesday that it would allow UUN trucks to refill at the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border later Wednesday. It said the decision was in response to a request from the US. But it gave no details on when the shipments are to be delivered, other than to say it’s allowing 24,000 litres (6,240 gallons) of fuel into Gaza.

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, had warned late Tuesday that its fuel-storage facility in Gaza had run dry and that it would soon be forced to halt operations.

Dr Muhammad Zaqout, the Gaza health ministry’s director of hospitals, also told Al Jazeera that some of the people sheltering at al-Shifa hospital came under fire while trying to leave using a hospital corridor that had been declared safe (it is unclear who declared the corridor safe, the IDF or local authorities).

“Not a single bullet was fired from inside the hospital during the occupation forces’ storming of the complex,” Zaquout told Al Jazeera.

Dr Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry, told Al Jazeera television that Israeli forces had raided the western side of the medical complex.

“There are big explosions and dust entered the areas where we are. We believe an explosion occurred inside the hospital,” Bursh said.

Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra to Al Jazeera: “The occupation army is now in the basement, and searching the basement. They are inside the complex, shooting and carrying out bombings”.

Israeli forces first raided the surgery and emergency departments, Mohammed Zaqout, the Gaza health ministry’s director of hospitals, told Al Jazeera.

Israeli military says it is carrying out operation inside Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital

Israel’s military has said it was carrying out a raid against Hamas in al-Shifa hospital early on Wednesday, conducting what it called a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the medical complex.

Less than an hour earlier, around 1am local time, a Gaza health ministry spokesperson said Israel had told officials in the territory that it would raid the hospital complex “in the coming minutes”. Al-Shifa is Gaza’s biggest hospital.

Dr Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry, told Al Jazeera television that Israeli forces had raided the western side of the sprawling site. “There are big explosions and dust entered the areas where we are. We believe an explosion occurred inside the hospital,” Bursh said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza has told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces are searching the basement of the al-Shifa Hospital.

Opening summary

This is the Guardian’s live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war with me, Helen Sullivan.

The top development this morning: the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said early on Wednesday it was “carrying out a precise and targeted operation” against Hamas in al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza.

Gaza’s health ministry was quoted by Palestinian news agency Shebab as saying that “dozens of soldiers” have entered the al-Shifa emergency department building, and that tanks have entered the complex.

More shortly.

In the meantime, here is a summary of the last few hours:

  • A witness inside al-Shifa told the BBC they saw six tanks and more than 100 soldiers inside the hospital complex, in the area around the emergency department. The Guardian has not been able to verify the claims.

  • Ahmed Mokhallalati, a surgeon at al-Shifa, has told Al Jazeera that Israeli tanks and bulldozers had entered the complex. ‘The firing is still heavy, and we are hearing explosions everywhere,’ he said.

  • Figures vary widely on how many civilians are at the site. On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) put the figure at about 1,500 displaced people, up to 650 inpatients and 200 to 500 health workers.

  • A White House official, speaking after the operation was announced, said it does not want to see a firefight in a hospital. A spokesperson for the National Security Council, who did not wish to be named, said: “We do not support striking a hospital from the air and we don’t want to see a firefight in a hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people trying to get medical care they deserve are caught in the crossfire.

  • Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke “at length” about ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, including many children and a number of Americans, the White House said.

  • The IDF announcement of its operation came within an hour of Palestinian health officials in Gaza saying the IDF had told them it would raid the hospital “within minutes”. The Gaza health ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Al Jazeera that Israel “informed us that it will raid al-Shifa hospital complex in the coming minutes”.

  • On its Hebrew X account, the IDF appeared to signal that once inside the hospital, it would continue to have a presence there, saying, “in the continuation of the operation, incubators, medical equipment and baby food are expected to be transferred to the hospital”.

  • The White House has said it has intelligence supporting Israel’s claims that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip – including al-Shifa hospital – to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages. “That is a war crime,” national security spokesperson John Kirby said, adding that those actions by Hamas did not lessen Israel’s responsibility to protect civilians in the course of its military operations.

  • Hamas said it strongly condemned and rejected the claims, adding that these statements “give a green light to the Israeli occupation to commit further brutal massacres targeting hospitals”.

  • The WHO has insisted that moving the most vulnerable patients from al-Shifa hospital has become an “impossible task”. WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris, speaking to reporters in Geneva, said the “heroic” health workers have been “doing whatever they can to keep going” while the facility has been without power since Saturday and there was not enough food and clean water.

  • Another 200,000 people have fled northern Gaza in the past 10 days, the UN has said. The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (Ocha) said on Tuesday that only one hospital in the northern half of the blockaded Gaza Strip, al-Awda, still had electricity and was able to receive patients, with other medical facilities in sprawling Gaza City now mostly functioning as shelters for those fleeing the violence.

  • Israeli authorities have said they have now identified the remains of 859 civilians killed during the 7 October Hamas attack inside southern Israel. The work to identify bodies is ongoing, they said. On 10 November, Israel revised down the number of Israeli deaths on 7 October from the previously given figure of 1,400 to 1,200.

  • The families of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas have started a five-day march on Tuesday from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to demand the government does more to secure their release. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is coming under fierce criticism from some relatives for not doing more to secure their release, even as Israeli troops push further into the Gaza Strip and the region is bombarded by the Israeli air force.

  • Tens of thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Washington on Tuesday to support Israel, condemn antisemitism and demand the release of the hostages. US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson spoke at the “March for Israel” event on the National Mall, as well as family members of the hostages.

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