Dozens of Israeli soldiers, some of them hooded and shooting in the air, order the Gazans sheltered in the Al Shifa hospital to surrender. The battle around Gaza's largest hospital has reached its corridors, according to an AFP contributing journalist.
Through loudspeakers, and in Arabic, Israeli soldiers order the patients: "all men aged 16 and older, put your hands up and leave the buildings towards the inner courtyard to surrender."
That said, hundreds of young people leave the different services of the immense complex, located in Gaza City, in the north of the Strip, where the fighting between Israeli tanks and fighters from the Islamist movement Hamas, in power in this Palestinian territory.
In the battle, Hamas is supported by Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian movement. Both organizations are considered "terrorist" by Israel, the United States and the EU.
The White House said U.S. intelligence sources corroborated the Israeli claim that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a command center beneath Al Shifa hospital. Israel has for years accused both movements of using Palestinian civilians as "human shields."
Hamas denies this, and has repeatedly demanded a visit by international investigative commissions. The government of the Palestinian Islamist movement has also accused the Israeli army of committing "a war crime and a crime against humanity."
According to the UN, some 2,300 people, including many patients, medical personnel and people displaced by the conflict, are in the Al Shifa hospital, surrounded for days by Israeli troops.
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack in southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
Since then, the Israeli army has bombed the Gaza Strip daily. More than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in those attacks, according to Hamas' Health Ministry.
– Generators stopped –
According to doctors and international NGOs, anyone who leaves the center risks being shot by Israeli forces.
The journalist who collaborates with AFP indicated that the soldiers shot at the windows if anyone showed their head.
This Wednesday morning, entire columns of Palestinians, with their hands in the air, flocked to the hospital courtyard, from the burn service, the maternity hospital - a recent target of gunfire -, the surgery department and even the dialysis service, according to with this journalist blocked for days in Al Shifa, where he went to conduct some interviews.
According to the same source, the Israeli army detained about 200 people and forced them to strip to their underwear.
Inside, soldiers fire into the air from room to room, searching for Hamas fighters.
Frightened and crying women and children have been searched, and others have had to go through a post equipped with a recognition camera, according to the journalist.
Inside the complex there are Israeli tanks, stationed in front of various services, including the emergency room. In recent days, the generators stopped working due to lack of fuel, a consequence of the siege imposed by Israel since October 9.
Natalie Thurtle, one of the coordinators of Doctors Without Borders in the Palestinian Territories, explained to AFP that it will not be "possible" to evacuate patients who for the most part "cannot move", and even less so taking into account the security situation around the hospital.
– Incubators –
At least nine premature babies died after being removed from their incubators, and 27 patients in intensive care died because they did not have a working respirator, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.
A mass grave was opened in the complex, where there are already 179 bodies, according to the hospital director, Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya.
The Israeli army said it had sent medical teams and Arabic-speaking soldiers for its operation in a "specific area" of Al Shifa.
This Wednesday morning, he also said he had delivered "incubators, baby food and medical supplies" during the operation.