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Israeli forces surround two more Gaza hospitals, Palestinian Red Crescent says

Israeli forces have surrounded two more hospitals in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said, describing intense shelling and heavy gunfire.

Months into the conflict, fighting is still raging across Gaza, despite international pressure on Israel and ongoing efforts for a ceasefire and hostage deal.

The PRCS said Sunday that Al-Amal Hospital and Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza were both encircled.

“All our teams are in extreme danger at the moment and are unable to move at all. They are also unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha inside the hospital courtyard.”

CNN has reached out to hospital authorities for more detail and to the Israel Defense Forces for a response. Both hospitals were surrounded by Israeli forces for prolonged spells earlier this year.

The Israeli military is still operating at Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest, after raiding it earlier in the week.

IDF troops “apprehended approximately 480 terrorists affiliated with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, and have located weapons and terrorist infrastructure in the hospital,” the IDF said in an update Sunday.

A picture shows damage inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis last month. - AFP/Getty Images
A picture shows damage inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis last month. - AFP/Getty Images

The IDF also announced that one a soldier had been killed in a battle in northern Gaza, bringing the death toll among soldiers since the ground operation began is 252.

At least 32,226 people in Gaza have died since the October 7 attacks, with almost 75,000 injured, the Gaza Ministry of health said.

In January, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that the most intensive phase of operations in northern Gaza was complete, but in recent weeks the IDF has returned in force to the area around Al-Shifa as Hamas appears to have built up its presence and operations in the area.

On Monday, the IDF launched a fresh operation at Al Shifa after claiming that “senior Hamas terrorists” were using the facility. The Ministry of Health in Gaza said about 3,000 people were seeking refuge and that those attempting to leave were being targeted by snipers and fire from helicopters.

Hamas accused Israel of striking targets “without regard” to the patients or medical staff inside – a claim echoed by people at the complex.

Hospitals have been battlegrounds throughout the conflict. Israel has accused Gazan medical facilities of harbouring Hamas fighters and weapons, something denied by doctors and the militant group.

Smoke billowing after Israeli bombardment in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa hospital on Saturday. - AFP/Getty Images
Smoke billowing after Israeli bombardment in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa hospital on Saturday. - AFP/Getty Images

UN Secretary General António Guterres, meanwhile warned that “horror and starvation” was stalking Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and the immediate release of hostages.

Guterres, who visited the Egyptian border on Saturday, has also called the relief trucks mounting there “a moral outrage,” urging Israel to allow “total, unfettered access for humanitarian goods throughout Gaza.”

His remarks sparked anger from Israel, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying that the UN had become “an antisemitic and anti-Israeli body that shelters and emboldens terror” under Guterres’ leadership.

Katz, in a statement on X, accused Guterres of criticizing Israel without condemning “in any way” the Hamas “terrorists who plunder humanitarian aid, without condemning UNRWA that cooperates with terrorists – and without calling for the immediate, unconditional release of all Israeli hostages.”

Israel and the UN’s relations are poor. The UN has been a strong critic of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, while Israel has accused some UN staffers of involvement in the October 7 attacks.

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