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US calls for Israel to protect innocent as forces storm Gaza hospital

The United States yesterday called for Israel to protect innocent people in hospitals, medical staff and patients as Israeli forces stormed one hospital and put another under siege as they advanced deep into western Khan Younis in Gaza. Residents said the bombardment from air, land and sea was the most intense in southern Gaza since the war began in October.

Troops moved for the first time into Al-Mawasi district near the Mediterranean coast, west of Khan Younis, the main city in southern Gaza. There, they stormed Al-Khair hospital and arrested medical staff, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al Qidra told Reuters.

There was no word from Israel on the situation at the hospital, and the military spokesperson’s office had no comment. The military said later that three Israeli soldiers were killed yesterday in southern Gaza.

Qidra said at least 50 people were killed on Sunday night in Khan Younis, while the sieges at medical facilities meant dozens of dead and wounded were beyond the reach of rescuers.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby yesterday said Israel had a right to defend itself but added: “We expect them to do so in accordance with international law and to protect innocent people in hospitals, medical staff and patients as well, as much as possible.”

Israel says Hamas fighters operate in and around hospitals, which Hamas and medical staff deny.

Israel launched an offensive last week to capture Khan Younis, which it now says is the principal headquarters of the Hamas militants responsible for the October 7 attacks on southern Israel that killed 1 200 people, according to Israeli tallies. Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, the Palestinian movement that rules Gaza and is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Source: eNCA

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