How Israel Devastated Al Shifa Complex

al shifa hospital destruction

Finally, the Israeli army pulled out of the Shifa complex after two weeks of mass destruction. The hospital itself and all of its buildings were rendered inoperable, either bombed or burned to the ground.

The Israeli army entered the hospital on 18th March searching for Palestinian resistance fighters but it found mainly 3000 displaced people as well as doctors, staff and starving patients.

The images on the social media are horrendous, visually speaking of devastation not only of the Hospital but its surrounding. Its carnage and wreaking death.

After the Israeli soldiers left the complex hundreds of Gazans flocked to the area but there was nothing but debris.

Palestinian news agency (WAFA) journalist Khader Al Za’anoun, also working for CNN, said the scene following the withdrawal of the Israeli army resembled a “horror movie.”

Medical sources in Al Shifa hospital told WAFA the Israeli army completely destroyed floors in the specialized surgeries building, and burned the rest of the buildings, and the main reception and emergency building, and destroyed dozens of its rooms and all the medical equipment in it.

They added that the Israeli forces also burned the kidney and maternity buildings, the morgues, cancer and burns refrigeration facilities, and destroyed the outpatient clinics building.

A Norwegian doctor, working at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza for 16 years, said that the hospital has been turned into a “House of Death by Israel and the US,” as quoted in the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

“Today, we witness the total Israeli destruction of the most important, 700-bed specialty hospital in Gaza, Al Shifa Medical Complex,” said Mads Gilbert in his account on X.

This is the second time that Israeli soldiers raid the hospital with the first being on 16 November, 2023.

After the army left, many bodies were seen next the hospital and in the surrounding areas. They have been trampled on by Israeli bulldozers after they were shot dead.

The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Al-Shifa Medical Complex witnessed one of the largest massacres in Palestinian history. In the 14-day siege of Al Shifa complex the Israeli army killed more than 200 Palestinians and detained over 900 Palestinians in and around the hospital, Anadolu reports. But these are only the tip of the iceberg.

“The Israeli army carried out a massive, shockingly horrific military operation in the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City over the course of the past two weeks, indiscriminately targeting and attacking Palestinians regardless of their civilian status, professional standing, gender, age, or health condition,” the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stated Monday.

“Though the exact number of casualties from the atrocity is still unknown, preliminary reports suggest that over 1,500 Palestinians have been killed, injured, or are reported missing as a result of the massacre at Al-Shifa, with women and children making up half of the casualties,” it added.

It confirmed through its initial investigation and testimonies hundreds of dead bodies, including some burned and others with their heads and limbs severed, have been discovered both inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex and in the hospital’s surrounding area.

The Monitor claimed the lives of at least 22 patients who were killed in their hospital beds during the Israeli siege of Al Shifa, amid the willful deprivation of their access to food, medical care, and supplies. “Israel’s army also purposefully prevented relief teams and representatives of international organizations from entering Al Shifa.”

Much images show how the Al Shifa complex was in its glorious days and how it had been reduced to.

“Al-Shifa Medical Complex is currently out of service due to the Israeli army bombing and setting fire to every one of its buildings, including the mortuary and all internal and external courtyards and corridors,” the Euro-Med Monitor announced.

The government media office in Gaza stated, Monday, the number of fallen journalists has grown to 138 since the beginning of the genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, following the death of journalist Muhammad Abu Skheil during the storming of the Al Shifa complex as reported by the Jordan Petra News Agency.

It seems the Israeli army was hell-bent on destroying Al Shifa complex, its surroundings and creating total devastation of Gaza city because of the stiff Palestinian resistance they met, primarily from Izz Al Din Al Qassam fighters and Saraya Al Quds. The first is the armed wing of Hamas and the other represents Islamic Jihad.

According to the Institute for The Study of War as carried in the New York Times, Palestinian groups have carried out more than 70 attacks on Israeli troops surrounding the hospitals in the first 11 days of the Israeli siege.  

“This high rate of attack indicates that Palestinian militias retain a significant degree of combat effectiveness in the area, despite continued Israeli clearing efforts around Gaza City,” according to the analysis in the Times.

Social media influencer Dr Mahmoud Salem Al Jundi says if you breakdown the 70 attacks it means that Israeli troops were being targeted on average six attacks every day and/or any attack every four hours of the first 11 days.

He added these attacks are effective and hit their targets which means Israeli soldiers faced tough battles both in Al Shifa and in the areas surrounding it from the armed Palestinian groups despite the devastation of vast neighborhoods.

Al Jundi points out it also explains why the Israeli airstrikes on the civilians there, have been so violent and deadly where their homes have not only been bombed but set on fire by the Israeli military.

The Egyptian analyst added this means the Israeli army is in a great deal of trouble and that everyone in the world sees that except the Zionists and their leaders.

He pointed out the Israeli army is facing shortage in individuals because they are constantly being killed and injured as well as shortage of weapons and military hardware despite the fact there is an US air and sea bridges that continuously supplies them with weapons not to mention the military supplies from other western countries like the UK, France and Germany.

Jundi added in this military onslaught on Gaza the Israeli military have lacked the plans and vision against a resistance that has been consistent in its approach and hard-hitting potential. 

However, despite their pull out on day 14, the Israeli army are maintaining that the Al “Shifa military operation” has been a great success because they claim they killed many Hamas fighters and have dismantled their activities

But many analysts say what the Israeli army did was destroy a major medical institution in the Gaza Strip and kill many Palestinians inside Al Shifa Hospital and its surroundings which is one more violation of international law.  

Dr Marwan Asmar is a writer from Amman, Jordan, specializing on Middle East affairs.

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