Israel Palestine Conflict

Hundreds evacuate Al-Shifa Hospital by foot, at least 120 remain inside: Report

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Hundreds of people evacuated Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital on foot Saturday, an AFP journalist at the scene saw, after the hospital director said the Israeli army ordered the hospital emptied.

The Hamas-run health ministry said in a statement 120 wounded were still at the facility, along with an unspecified number of premature babies, adding it was in touch with the Red Cross about the infants.

Officials said a few medical staff stayed behind to care for those who could not be moved.

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Columns of sick and injured - some of them amputees - displaced people, doctors and nurses, made their way toward the seafront.

Israel’s army denied ordering the evacuation.

The army “acceded to the request of the director of the Shifa Hospital to enable additional Gazans who were in the hospital, and would like to evacuate, to do so” an army statement said.

The United Nations estimated 2,300 patients, staff and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at Al-Shifa before Israeli troops moved in on Wednesday.

Israel accuses Hamas of staging attacks from hideouts under the sprawling health complex, and its troops are combing buildings for evidence to back their claims.

Hamas, the movement which governs Gaza and has an armed wing, has consistently denied using hospitals as bases for combatants.

Hamas health officials say dozens of patients have died at the hospital owing to blackouts due to fuel shortages caused by intense combat in northern Gaza.

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