Israeli forces using tanks and bulldozers raided al-Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip Monday in an operation they said was aimed at senior Hamas officials who had regrouped at the medical facility, setting off an hourslong battle that both sides said had resulted in casualties.
The raid began before dawn, with Israeli military’s chief spokesman saying troops were operating in “limited areas” of the complex. More than 12 hours later, Hamas’ military wing, Qassam Brigades, said its forces were “engaged in fierce clashes with enemy forces” near the hospital. Israeli military said Hamas fighters had shot at its soldiers from within the complex and soldiers had returned fire. Gaza health ministry said Israeli forces had launched missiles at the complex and fired into surgery rooms.
Israeli military said it had launched the raid based on new intelligence that Hamas officials were operating from the hospital, four months after Israeli forces stormed the complex and found a tunnel shaft. During the operation, Israel said its forces had killed 20 militants. Among those killed, it said, was a senior Hamas official it identified as Faiq Mabhouh, head of operations for the internal security forces of Hamas govt in Gaza, who was “armed and hiding in a compound” at al-Shifa. It also said one of its soldiers was killed.
Hamas claimed it had caused “deaths and injuries” to Israeli forces, but did not provide evidence. The hospital and the surrounding area house about 30,000 patients, medical workers and displaced civilians, and a number of people were killed and wounded in the raid, Gaza health ministry said.
Meanwhile, US President Biden spoke to Israel PM Netanyahu on Monday. The call was the first between the two leaders since Feb 15 and comes amid sharp tensions over Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

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