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March 18, 2024 (EIRNS)—Apparently not satisfied with the job they did when IDF troops assaulted Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City back in November, the Israel Defense Forces began a new assault on the facility this morning, justifying it with the claim that Hamas militants were using it as a command center. Recall that the “evidence” that Hamas was operating from the hospital that the IDF produced last November, was not convincing.

According to Al Jazeera, the Israeli military said, in a statement, that it is conducting a “precise operation” at the medical facility. Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff are trapped inside the complex.

The IDF claimed weeks ago that it had destroyed Hamas’ military infrastructure in northern Gaza, but said in its statement that the militant group had “regrouped” inside Al-Shifa, and is “using it to command attacks against Israel.”

In a message in English on Telegram, Gaza’s Ministry of Health made clear that anyone “who tries to move is targeted by sniper bullets and quadcopter.” It added that the raid, which began at 2 a.m., has resulted in a “number of martyrs and wounded.” Al Jazeera Arabic reported that the hospital’s surgical building was on fire, following the Israeli bombing.

Israeli military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said in a video posted earlier on X, that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the assault, providing food and water. He also insisted that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital. However, Al Jazeera Arabic correspondents on the ground reported that Israeli forces used loudspeakers to order hundreds of people sheltering at the hospital to evacuate.

PressTV issued the following report on its Telegram channel at about 1:18 a.m. EDT (7:18 a.m. local time, GMT+2): “Following Israeli attack on Al-Shifa Medical Complex, a huge fire broke out at the gate of the hospital, resulting in cases of suffocation among displaced women and children inside the hospital.

“Communication is cut off, and displaced people are trapped in specialized surgery buildings and emergency reception areas. There were casualties, and no injured individuals could be saved due to the fire’s intensity and Israeli soldiers’ targeting of those near the windows. The Ministry of Health urges international institutions to intervene and halt this attack on the hospital, its patients, and medical staff.”