Israeli forces have launched a military operation in Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital, suspecting its use as a Hamas command center. Currently, soldiers and commandos are reportedly present within the hospital complex. This incursion has sparked apprehension regarding the welfare of the numerous patients, staff, and displaced individuals who seek refuge in the facility. The White House has voiced concern and openly criticized the airstrike on the hospital. Israel contends that the hospital's employment for military purposes jeopardizes its protected status under international law; however, human rights attorneys oppose this assertion. Disturbing reports from witnesses describe the hospital's conditions as horrific, with medical procedures being conducted without anesthesia, and an appalling lack of basic necessities such as food and water. The Israeli military has disclosed evacuation routes and has notified Hamas authorities to halt any military activities inside the hospital. Unfortunately, these demands have not been met. The situation in other hospitals throughout Gaza is also perilous, with most of them rendered non-functional due to fuel scarcities and damage. Concerns have also been raised by the United Nations about the repercussions of evacuating hospitals in the north on patients who cannot be accommodated in the operational hospitals in the south.The Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, overseen by Hamas, has resulted in the deaths of 11,320 individuals, primarily innocent civilians, including numerous children. The health ministry in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, has reported these alarming figures. In an already dire situation, the territory has seen an influx of hundreds of thousands of people forced to seek refuge in the south. However, even attempting to escape the conflict remains perilous, as wounded Palestinians recount being struck by airstrikes while attempting to find safety. Hasan Baker, a survivor, shared his harrowing experience of having to endure kilometers of walking while bleeding due to the inability of ambulances to enter the area.
Israeli leaders have steadfastly refused to agree to a ceasefire in the ongoing war until certain conditions are met. The spokesperson for Hamas's military wing, Abu Obeida, disclosed that Israel has demanded the liberation of 100 hostages, while the militants have countered by demanding the release of 200 Palestinian children and 75 women from Israeli prisons. Obeida asserted that the hostages would be set free if a five-day truce were granted and if aid was permitted to reach all individuals in Gaza. However, he accused Israel of prolonging the negotiations. Majed bin Mohammed Al-Ansari, the Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman involved in the talks, raised concerns about the deteriorating situation in Gaza hindering progress towards an agreement.
Under mounting pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel claimed to be actively engaged in securing the release of the hostages. Simultaneously, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum reported that relatives of the captives commenced a five-day march from Tel Aviv to the prime minister's office in Jerusalem to demand the freedom of their loved ones.