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Thousands shelter at Gaza’s largest hospital after Israeli evacuation order

October 14, 2023: Thousands of Palestinians have taken shelter at Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, from ongoing Israeli airstrikes, reports Anadolu Agency citing a hospital official said Saturday.

“Around 35,000 residents of Gaza take shelter at the hospital from the Israeli aggression,” Director Mohamed Abu Slima said on Facebook. “The population are in total panic and fear,” he said, adding families set up their tents in the medical complex “for safety.”

The Israeli military warned 1.1 million residents in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes Friday and move south immediately, prompting thousands to take shelter at the hospital.

The Gaza-based Health Ministry said at least 70 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured in an Israeli airstrike on a convoy of trucks carrying displaced civilians heading from northern Gaza to the south.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric warned that it would be impossible for Palestinians in Gaza to obey the order to leave the north without “devastating humanitarian consequences.”

Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip in response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.

The conflict began Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood – a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. That response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

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