Israeli special forces raid largest hospital in southern Gaza amid ‘credible intelligence’ of hostages

Israeli special forces raid largest hospital in southern Gaza amid ‘credible intelligence’ of hostages

Israeli special forces raided the largest hospital in southern Gaza after receiving intelligence that Hamas was keeping the remains of hostages inside the facility Thursday.

Israeli officials say they had ‘credible intelligence’ that Hamas had housed Israeli hostages at the hospital following the Oct. 7 massacre, and they believed remains may still be on site. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari described the operation as ‘limited’ and said there were no plans to forcibly evacuate doctors or patients.

While it is so far unclear whether they found remains, Israel says its forces did apprehend several Hamas suspects who had been operating within the hospital.

The IDF told Fox News Digital that it officially contacted the director of the Nasser Medical Center on Tuesday and called for the immediate cessation of all Hamas terrorist activity from within the hospital and the immediate evacuation of all Hamas terrorists from within.

‘We have credible intelligence from a number of sources, including from released hostages, indicating that Hamas held hostages at the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis and that there may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser hospital facility,’ the IDF said in a statement as the operation was underway. ‘As was proven with the Shifa Hospital; Rantisi Hospital; Al Amal Hospital; and many other hospitals across Gaza, Hamas systematically uses hospitals as terror hubs.’

One released hostage said publicly last month that she and over two dozen other hostages had been held in the Nasser Hospital.

Medical officials say many within the hospital cannot comply with evacuation orders due to their injuries, and that even those who can face an uncertain choice.

‘People have been forced into an impossible situation,’ said Lisa Macheiner of the aid group Doctors Without Borders, which has staff in the hospital. ‘Stay at Nasser Hospital against the Israeli military’s orders and become a potential target, or exit the compound into an apocalyptic landscape where bombings and evacuation orders are a part of daily life.’

Israel’s operation comes just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to move forward with an invasion of the Gaza-Egypt border town of Rafah. Netanyahu said the military will allow civilians sheltering in the city to flee before taking ‘powerful action.’

President Biden’s administration has said it will not support an Israeli invasion of Rafah unless Israel presents a clear plan for protecting civilian life.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS