Israel Hamas war: Shifa Hospital raid, Gaza aid struggles, Scholz says situation 'desperate'

Smoke and explosions rise inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Sunday, Sunday, March 17, 2024.
Smoke and explosions rise inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Sunday, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Copyright Ariel Schalit/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.

Israel's military raids Shifa hospital in Gaza

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Israeli forces have launched another raid on the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. 

It claimed Hamas militants are using the medical facility as a base, though this allegation is disputable and Israel has previously not provided evidence for such claims. 

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman for Israel's military, said the army had launched a “high-precision operation” in parts of the medical complex.

He said senior Hamas militants had regrouped there and were directing attacks from the compound, without providing evidence. 

Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israeli forces attacked the hospital early Monday, directing gun and missile fire at a building used for specialised surgeries. It says a fire broke out at the hospital’s gate.

The ministry says around 30,000 people are sheltering at the hospital, including patients, medical staff and people who have fled their homes seeking safety.

Gazans struggle to receive aid

Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza City have been waiting for food aid outside the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). 

They have gathered there amid an increasingly dire humanitarian situation, which is particularly acute in the north, cut off by Israeli forces since October. 

Up to 300,000 Palestinians are believed to still be there despite Israel ordering that the area should be evacuated. 

Aid groups have said it remains impossible to deliver aid by land in the Gaza Strip due to restrictions caused by the Israeli army and ongoing hostilities. 

According to UNRWA, 1 in 3 children in northern Gaza are malnourished. 

Olaf Scholz calls Gaza situation 'desperate'

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented on the situation in Gaza during a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.

Scholz confirmed that Germany "will continue to support Israel, but he warned that "the more desperate the situation of people in Gaza becomes, the more this begs the question, no matter how important the goal, can it justify such terribly high costs, or are there other ways to achieve your goal?”

Scholz went on to say Germany is concerned about Israel's plans for an offensive in Rafah, warning this would cause a large number of civilian casualties. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved plans for a military operation in Rafah, insisting that Hamas cannot be removed from Gaza without it.

The plan has received widespread criticism from aid groups, despite the Israeli army saying that they would ensure the evacuation of civilians before the offensive.

More than a million people from other parts of Gaza are sheltering in Rafah.

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