'You can hear continuous bombing': Inside Gaza hospital under siege

Israeli forces have raided Gaza's largest hospital, doctors have shared footage of the panic inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, John Irvine reports

Israeli forces have stormed the main hospital in southern Gaza on Thursday, hours after their airstrikes killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex, in what one doctor described as "continuous bombing".

The Israeli army said it was a limited operation seeking the remains of hostages taken by Hamas, in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

"They shot my [fellow] doctor - he has a shrapnel inside his head," Dr Khaled Elserr, a general surgery specialist at Nasser Hospital in Gaza, told ITV News.

He said he and his colleagues would never have envisaged a situation where Israel would directly target a hospital, resulting in dead and injured medical staff.

"[The] situation here is getting worse every time and every minute ... Some people tried to evacuate in front of tanks and snipers and soldiers and bulldozers and [the Israeli army] tried to approach the people so they were afraid and came back to the hospital as refugees," he said.

Despite the incredibly challenging conditions, Dr Elserr said he will not leave the hospital.

"We have patients who need care, 40 of us healthcare workers remain, but after the Israeli army bombed the hospital directly, most of the healthcare workers scared for themselves and they tried to leave the hospital with refugees, relatives and patient," he told ITV News.

Nasser Hospital, in the southern city of Khan Younis, has been the latest focus of operations that have gutted Gaza’s health sector. Credit: AP

The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter in the hospital.

Khan Younis has been the main target of Israel's offensive against Hamas in recent weeks.

The military said it had "credible intelligence” that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of hostages might still be inside.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, said forces were conducting a “precise and limited” operation there and would not forcibly evacuate medics or patients.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari of the Israeli Defence Forces spoke in English about the operation in this video released by their military

Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian structures to shield its fighters.

Gaza's Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said Israel had launched a “massive incursion” with heavy shooting that wounded many of the displaced people who had sheltered there.

He said the military had ordered medics to move all patients into an older building that was not properly equipped for their treatment.

“Many cannot evacuate, such as those with lower limb amputations, severe burns, or the elderly,” he said in an interview with the Al Jazeera network.

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday: "Civilians killed, orders to evacuate people seeking shelter, the northern wall demolished: I am alarmed by what is reportedly happening at Nasser Medical Complex in after being under siege for around a week."

He said forces have reportedly destroyed storage facilities for medical supplies and access to the hospital remains obstructed.

Two WHO missions have been denied in the last four days and they have lost touch with the hospital's personnel, Dr Ghebreyesus also said, adding that "Nasser is the backbone of the health system in southern Gaza".

"It must be protected. Humanitarian access must be allowed."

Sunak 'deeply concerned' about loss of life in Gaza

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon.

While he assured Netanyahu of Israel’s right to defend its people against Hamas he said the UK was deeply concerned about the loss of civilian life in Gaza.

A spokesperson said: “The prime minister urged Israel to fully open the Kerem Shalom crossing and allow the maritime delivery of international aid through Ashdod port, which the UK stood ready to support on.“

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan meet inside 10 Downing Street. Credit: PA

"He noted the importance of continuing to abide by International Humanitarian Law and protecting civilian infrastructure like hospitals and shelters.

"The prime minister said more must be done to ease restrictions on humanitarian supplies and ensure the UN and aid agencies can reach civilians in need throughout Gaza."

The leaders also discussed regional issues, including how the UK is supporting efforts to de-escalate the situation on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and avoid further conflict or threats to Israeli citizens.”

Sunak also met with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss the crisis in Gaza and agreed it was critical as a first step to secure an immediate humanitarian pause, to get hostages out and considerably more aid in. 

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