Medical teams in 'extreme danger' as Israeli forces besiege Khan Younis hospitals

Two people have died including a Red Crescent volunteer and a patient at Al Amal hospital

The abandoned Nasser Hospital following an Israeli raid in Khan Younis on March 6. EPA
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest on Israel-Gaza

The Palestinian Red Crescent has warned that medical staff and volunteers are in extreme danger as Israeli forces surround two hospitals in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The Israeli army has besieged the organisation's Al Amal Hospital and the nearby Nasser Hospital, the PRCS said on Sunday.

Two people – a PRCS volunteer and a patient being treated at the hospital – have died after being shot by the Israeli army.

"There is a need to evacuate the patients and the wounded, as well as the bodies of the two martyrs, colleague Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital," the Red Crescent wrote in a post on X.

In January, the hospital came under siege for more than two weeks, while Nasser Hospital was also raided last month. Dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds detained in both operations.

Gaza's already fragile health sector has all but collapsed since the war began, amid severe shortages of electricity, water and medical supplies, and continuous Israeli attacks on hospitals and healthcare centres.

The latest raids come days after more than 170 people were killed at Al Shifa, Gaza's largest hospital, in an Israeli raid which began last week.

Witnesses at the Gaza city hospital said groups of civilians were led into the hospital's morgue before being shot dead.

On Sunday, the Israeli army said it continued to operate in the vicinity of the hospital, and had arrested around 480 people affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Hospital authorities have repeatedly denied Israeli claims the hospital was used as a Hamas command centre.

Israeli helicopters and drones launched intense strikes on areas south and east of Nasser Hospital on Sunday, the official Wafa news agency reported.

A number of people were killed and injured in attacks on the vicinity of the hospital, it added.

At least 32,226 Palestinians have been killed and 74,518 wounded since the war began in October.

Fifteen Palestinians were killed in strikes on Sunday morning on Khan Younis and Rafah, the latter of which continues to be threatened by an impending Israeli invasion.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned Israel against invading Rafah, where more than a million displaced civilians have sought shelter amid Israeli attacks on northern and central Gaza.

Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza. Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he wrote on X on Sunday.

"It’s more than time for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire & the immediate release of all hostages."

Updated: March 24, 2024, 4:27 PM