Hamas-run health ministry ‘unable to evacuate’ besieged hospitals

The Hamas-run health ministry says it is “unable to evacuate” hospitals in the Gaza Strip as Israeli strikes on the enclave intensify.

The claim came as Israeli attacks were carried out near several hospitals early on Friday as its forces pushed deeper into the territory, forcing increasing numbers of civilians to flee south in search of safety.

Israel struck the courtyard and obstetrics department of the Al Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, according to the head of the Hamas-run media office in Gaza, Salama Maarouf. At least 13 people were killed, Hamas claimed.

Strikes were also carried out near two other hospitals, Mr Maarouf said. 

An estimated 60,000 people have taken refuge inside the Al Shifa Hospital.

Israel has accused Hamas of hiding in hospitals and using the Al Shifa complex as its main command centre, claims which the group and hospital staff deny. Israeli troops were around two miles from the hospital as of Friday morning, according to its director.

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