Israel allegedly carried out mass summary executions at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

Al Shifa Hospital Raid Gaza
IDF troops detain and torture people at Shifa hospital in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) engaged in summary mass executions of civilians during a raid on Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza this week, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Wednesday.

The raid has killed at least 100 people, “many of whom were victims of extrajudicial executions after their arrest,” the human rights group said. Dozens more were detained, beaten and tortured.

Based on interviews with survivors who were detained and tortured at the hospital, Euro-Med said that Israeli forces had been carrying executions for three days in a row.

One detainee, identified as MK, told Euro-Med, “The soldiers detained me and handcuffed me in the hospital courtyard; I was left undressed for more than nine hours.” He reported that soldiers repeatedly took prisoners into the morgue, then gunshots were heard, and the soldiers returned without the prisoners.

“About four times during that period, I saw soldiers lead groups of detainees—[always] at least three people and [never] more than 10—into the hospital buildings, particularly the morgue building where bodies had previously been kept,” he said. “Gunshots were heard, with the soldiers then leaving the area to bring another group there.”

Another witness, who asked to remain completely anonymous, said, according to Euro-Med, that he “witnessed Israeli forces taking eight or 10 Palestinian civilians at a time towards the morgue area. He then heard heavy gunfire, and the Israeli forces later left without the civilians.”

Commenting on the victim’s account, Euro-Med said, “These civilians were likely subjected to unlawful killings and executions.”

The Israeli military claimed to have “eliminated” 90 “terrorists” during the raid on Al-Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip’s largest medical facility. “Over the past day, the troops have eliminated terrorists and located weapons in the hospital area,” the IDF said in a statement.

Among those detained, tortured, and stripped naked were medical personnel at the hospital.

Emergency surgeon Mads Gilbert, who previously worked at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, said colleagues described torture by Israeli forces.

“Medical staff have been arrested and left for hours in the cold,” Gilbert said. “Some were forced to leave the hospital and taken to unknown places. Others were displaced to the south half naked.”

He concluded, “One doctor was shot in the chest when he followed the orders to leave the hospital and later went into surgery at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital.” He added that the Israeli military does not differentiate “between fighters and medical staff, patients and refugees.”

As a result of the raid, Al-Shifa Hospital was again taken out of commission, further threatening the lives of the population of northern Gaza, where epidemic disease is running rampant amid the absence of food and drinking water, which is being blocked by Israel.

Journalists were also tortured at the hospital. CNN reported that IDF forces detained, blindfolded and stripped journalists from Al Jazeera and left them in the hospital yard in the cold.

Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Ismail al-Ghoul and his team were arrested for 12 hours and “severely beaten” by Israeli forces.

Al Jazeera journalist Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Rafah, said al-Ghoul was “tortured, beaten and detained by the Israeli military along with his crew member on the ground.”

Since October 7, there have been 410 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza, according to the World Health Organization. “Attacks have resulted in 685 fatalities, 902 injuries, damage to 99 facilities and affected 104 ambulances,” the WHO said in a statement on Twitter.

Meanwhile, famine continues to spread throughout the Gaza Strip. A report by the World Bank published Wednesday found that 1.1 million people in Gaza are at the highest risk of famine—classified as a “catastrophe”—while another 854,000 are facing an “emergency.”

“The situation in the Gaza Strip has reached catastrophic levels,” according to the World Bank’s report.

None of the population of Gaza falls into the lower two categories of food insecurity.

“Household surveys reveal alarming trends, with virtually all households skipping meals daily and a significant portion of children under two suffering from acute malnutrition,” the report concluded.

In a statement Wednesday, Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, said, “Siege, hunger & diseases will soon become the main killer in #Gaza.”

Between March 19 and March 20, 104 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, bringing the official death toll to 31,923. Once the missing are added, the effective death toll since October exceeds 40,000.

A critical element of Israel’s deliberate mass starvation of the population of Gaza has been the deliberate targeting of aid workers. Gaza’s government media office said Wednesday that over 100 aid workers had been killed over the past week in eight separate attacks. The aim of these attacks was, according to Gaza’s government media office, to “perpetuate the policy of starvation and deepen famine on a broader scale.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to openly advocate for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. In a statement to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Israeli parliament, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speculated that the port being constructed by the United States in Gaza, nominally to provide food aid, could be used to deport Palestinians.

“There is no obstacle for the Gazans to leave, maybe even the port they are building could be used for this, but there are no countries in the world that are ready to receive them,” Netanyahu said, according to a report by a journalist for the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Despite verbal criticism of Netanyahu by President Joe Biden, the United States continues to insist that there are “no red lines” for the types of war crimes that Israel is allowed to commit, and continues to provide funding and weapons for the ongoing genocide as part of its broader military offensive throughout the region targeting Iran.

Originally published in WSWS.ORG

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