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Day 177: IDF withdraws from Shifa Hospital after ‘successful operation,' storms PIJ operations center in al-Aqsa Hospital

Reports from Gaza report extensive destruction to hospital compound

IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip, fighting in the Shifa Hospital area, in late March 2024. (Photo: IDF)

Israel announced on Monday that IDF troops and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) forces have withdrawn from the Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza after completing “precise operational activity” there.  

During the weeks-long operation, soldiers engaged in close-quarters combat, resulting in the elimination of over 200 terrorists. In addition, the operation led to the arrest of more than 800 suspects, 500 of whom were definitively identified as members of Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization.

Israeli soldiers also discovered numerous weapons and intelligence documents throughout the hospital. 

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi visited Shifa Hospital on Friday, where he said the IDF had carried out “a highly successful operation.” 

“After two weeks, we carried out a successful operation. To carry out something of this scale during a war is very complex,” Halevi said. 

Images from the Gaza Strip showed significant destruction in the area around the hospital complex. Palestinians were warned not to approach the hospital to search for relatives to avoid danger. 

A tank drives near al-Shifa hospital, taken from video released on March 25, 2024. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS)

According to the Palestinian Press Agency SAFA, there was extensive destruction to the hospital itself, including medical equipment and supplies. The IDF maintains it attempted to minimize all damage to the hospital, however, Hamas caused damage to the building by firing mortars and RPGs at the troops from inside the facility. 

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari blamed Hamas for the hospital's destruction by using it as a base for terror operations against Israeli soldiers. 

“Terrorists hiding around the hospital fired mortars at our forces, causing extensive damage to the hospital buildings,” Hagari said. 

In central Gaza, an IDF military helicopter targeted and struck a booby-trapped Hamas military compound. According to the IDF, Hamas utilized the facility to surveil IDF troops operating in the vicinity.

In Khan Younis, IDF Commando troops operating in the neighborhood of Al-Amal eliminated terrorists in close-quarters combat, raided terror infrastructure, and apprehended a number of terrorists. During searches, the forces also located many weapons, including explosive devices. 

Weapons found at Shifa Hospital in late March 2024. (Photo: IDF)

On Sunday, the IDF disclosed that it had targeted PIJ operational headquarters located within the al-Aqsa Hospital compound. In a statement, the IDF emphasized that the strikes were carried out with precision and caused no harm to the hospital or its operations.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the death of soldier Nadav Cohen, who fell during combat on Sunday, raising the number of soldiers lost in the war to 256.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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