Unveiling Horrors – Testimonies of Israeli Atrocities in Al-Shifa Medical Complex

The massive destruction inflicted by the Israeli army in the Al Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City. (Photo: via Times of Gaza)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

At Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, horrific testimonies have surfaced, shedding light on the appalling devastation inflicted by the Israeli occupation army.

Gaza City residents were met with scenes of devastation in the aftermath of the Israeli occupation army’s withdrawal from the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and its surroundings early Monday morning.

Crowds of citizens converged on the area west of Gaza City to survey the damage caused by the Israeli incursion and to assess the state of their homes, which they were compelled to evacuate. 

What they encountered was absolutely shocking.

Nearly 400 Bodies

Al Jazeera’s correspondent on the scene reported that the Israeli army had completely vacated the vicinity of the Shifa Medical Complex at dawn.

Ismail Al-Thawabta, Director General of the Government Media Office, condemned the Israeli occupation’s actions, stating that nearly 400 Palestinians were killed within and around the Al-Shifa Complex.

According to Al-Thawabta’s exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera, the occupation forces committed heinous crimes, including piling up bodies and burying them under dirt using bulldozers. 

Israeli occupation forces razed all structures within the Shifa Complex, setting them ablaze and subjecting them to airstrikes and tank fire during a two-week siege, which started on March 18.

Eyewitnesses recounted how the occupation’s tanks indiscriminately targeted hospital buildings with shells and heavy bullets, leaving fires blazing in administrative and outpatient clinic structures upon citizens’ arrival. 

The mortuary and generators were not spared from destruction. Furthermore, the occupation’s bulldozers leveled the complex’s courtyards and gardens.

Decomposing Bodies

The destruction extended to the grim discovery of decomposing bodies strewn across the hospital courtyards, as the occupation forces dismantled a temporary cemetery previously established by Palestinians within the complex. 

Inside, chaos reigned as Israeli soldiers vandalized beds, medical equipment, and furniture, exacerbating the already dire situation.

A nurse who endured the siege within the hospital described the harrowing conditions, recounting instances where patients perished and the occupation forces barred their burial, resulting in their bodies decomposing.

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“After several days, they asked us to bury the bodies, but they were decomposing, with worms emerging from them… an indescribable ordeal,” the nurse said.

The scope of devastation encompassed the area surrounding the medical complex, where eyewitnesses reported the devastation of streets and residential squares, as well as the displacement of countless families due to the creation of new passages for occupation vehicles.

Extra-Judicial Executions

The aftermath also revealed bodies, including those of a woman, lying on the ground with visible handcuffs near the Haider Abdel Shafi, roundabout south of the complex, indicating possible extrajudicial executions by the occupation forces.

The occupation army’s ruthlessness extended to the destruction of vehicles both within and around the hospital premises, with collateral damage affecting streets and infrastructure, including Al-Nasr, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam, Ahmed Abdel Aziz, Omar Al-Mukhtar Streets, and the Ansar area.

Throughout the invasion, which spanned approximately two weeks, many civilians were forced to flee to the southern Gaza Strip, while others endured confinement in their homes without food, water or safe passage.

Upon learning of the occupation forces’ withdrawal, citizens rushed to their homes to secure water, food, and assess the condition of their neighborhoods. Additionally, many sought out missing relatives, hoping for their safe return.

Total Destruction

The occupation forces’ disregard for civilian lives was evident in their destruction of numerous homes, burying occupants alive without allowing rescue teams access to save them. 

Despite desperate pleas from Palestinian families, the occupation army prevented any organizations from providing assistance.

One such family, the Abdos, told Al-Jazeera that they mobilized to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones from the rubble of their destroyed home. Munther Abdo sustained serious injuries and lost his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and all four grandchildren.

Families like the Abdos took it upon themselves to recover the bodies of their family members using whatever means available due to the lack of equipment and civil defense resources.

The Israeli military operation targeting the Shifa complex and its environs commenced on March 18, leaving behind a trail of devastation and loss.

Despite the Israeli army’s claims of conducting its operation without harming civilians, patients, or medical staff, the reality on the ground painted a starkly different picture.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 32,845 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,392 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’


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