450 patients left behind as Israel orders immediate evacuation of Gaza's Al Shifa hospital
PTC News Desk: Hundreds fled after Israel's army ordered the evacuation of Gaza's main hospital, Al-Shifa, which housed over 2,000 patients and displaced people. According to the news agency AFP, Gaza health officials said that 450 patients were left behind at the hospital.
As Israel has pressed military operations inside the hospital, claiming that Hamas' operations centre is beneath the complex, the facility has become the focal point of the war. The charge has been denied by Hamas.
According to Mohammed Abu Salmiya, the hospital's director, "the evacuation of patients, wounded, displaced, and medical staff, and that they should move on foot towards the seafront" was ordered.
Israel has also ordered Palestinians to flee the north of Gaza for their own safety, as deadly air strikes continue to hit the territory's central and southern areas.
According to Israel, around 1,200 people, the majority of whom are civilians, and around 240 people have been taken hostage. Around 12,000 people have been killed in Gaza, including 5,000 children.
More than 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Gaza, and more than half of the hospitals are no longer operational.
- With inputs from agencies