Israel besieges two more Gaza hospitals, Palestinian Red Crescent says

Israeli forces besieged two more Gaza hospitals on Sunday, pinning down medical teams under heavy gunfire and forcing the evacuation from one hospital of most patients and displaced people sheltering there, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Israeli forces say hospitals in the Palestinian enclave where war has been raging for over five months have frequently been used as strongholds of Hamas militants harbouring bases and weapons. Hamas and medical staff deny this.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its staff was killed when Israeli tanks suddenly pushed back into areas around Al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in the southern city of Khan Younis, amid shelling and gunfire.

Israeli armoured forces sealed off Al-Amal Hospital and carried out extensive bulldozing operations in its vicinity, the Red Crescent said in a statement, adding: "All of our teams are in extreme danger at the moment and are completely immobilised."

Hours later, the Red Crescent said all patients who could be moved as well as displaced people who found refuge from fighting in the hospital compound had been evacuated westwards to Al Mawasi, a coastal beach settlement.

Hospital staff remained along with nine severely ill or wounded people and 10 companions as well as a displaced family with special needs, it added. "There is a need to evacuate these patients and wounded (safely)."

Earlier, the Red Crescent said a displaced Palestinian was killed inside the hospital premises by Israeli gunfire.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)

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