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Seven days after the raid on Al-Shifa, witnesses and residents nearby described a relentless assault with gunshots, airstrikes, and explosions. The hospital was targeted in Israel’s response to an attack by Hamas, resulting in a siege that left residents and patients in fear and deprivation. Despite ongoing efforts to reach a cease-fire deal, Israeli leaders were prepared to launch a ground operation in Rafah. The dire situation faced by hospitals and patients sheltering in Al-Shifa raised international concerns for the well-being of those affected.

As the raid continued, patients in Al-Shifa were left in critical condition with a lack of medical supplies, food, and water, leading to deaths and infections. Witnesses reported that medical workers and patients were kept in cramped conditions with minimal facilities. Dr. Tayseer al-Tanna, a surgeon, described the difficult conditions faced during the incursion, including limited access to food and water. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that at least 13 patients had died due to the raid, with claims of ventilators stopping working after the Israelis cut electricity.

The Israeli military was accused of threatening the medical staff and people sheltering inside Al-Shifa, compelling them to leave the hospital or risk being bombed. While Israel claimed to be operating in the area to target fighters, both Hamas and Israeli military accounts could not be verified. Israel has long accused Hamas of using hospitals like Al-Shifa for military purposes, while hospital administrators have denied these claims. Additionally, reports emerged of Israeli forces besieging other hospitals in Gaza, heightening tensions in the region.

As the situation escalated, residents in the surrounding neighborhood of Al-Shifa described being trapped in their homes, fearing snipers and airstrikes. The ongoing siege left many unable to access essential supplies like water and food, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The neighborhood was under constant threat, with homes being hit by airstrikes and cannon fire. Israeli forces were reported to be targeting the entire area, not just the hospital, leading to further destruction and displacement.

Efforts to address the crisis in Gaza involved international mediators, cease-fire talks, and humanitarian appeals for safe access to hospitals and care for patients. The siege on Al-Shifa brought attention to the dire situation faced by residents and patients in the region, emphasizing the need for urgent action to provide aid and protection. With international concern growing, the situation in Gaza remained precarious, with ongoing military operations and threats affecting the lives of civilians caught in the conflict.

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