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Alarm as Israel raids Gaza hospital in war on Hamas

People seek shelter at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 7, 2023
— Gaza Strip (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

Israeli soldiers withdrew from Gaza's main hospital Wednesday after raiding and combing through the facility in their war against Hamas, as the UN Security Council called for "urgent humanitarian pauses".

Both Israel and its top ally the United States said the Palestinian militants have a command centre below the Al-Shifa complex, a charge denied by Hamas and directors at the hospital, which has become a focal point in the 40-day-old war.

A journalist in contact with AFP, trapped inside Al-Shifa, reported that Israeli soldiers, some wearing face masks, shot in the air and ordered young men to surrender when they burst into the hospital overnight.

About 1,000 male Palestinians, hands above their heads, were in the courtyard, some of them stripped naked by Israeli soldiers checking them for weapons or explosives, the journalist said.

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