Israel-Hamas war: The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday rejected media reports which claimed IDF ordered urgent evacuation from the city’s largest hospital, Al Shifa, and added it only responded to requests by the medical centre’s director who asked for a safe route out for those who wish to leave. Earlier, it was reported that the City’s Shifa Hospital was ordered to evacuate within an hour.
“This morning, the IDF acceded to the request of the director of Shifa Hospital to enable additional Gazans who were in the hospital and would like to evacuate, to do so via the secure route,” the Times of Israel cited IDF as saying in a statement.
“At no point did the IDF order the evacuation of patients or medical teams and in fact proposed that any request for medical evacuation will be facilitated by the IDF,” it noted.
“Medical personnel will remain in the hospital to support patients who are unable to evacuate,” the IDF adds. The IDF also says that it provided additional food, water and humanitarian aid to Shifa overnight.
Gaza officials also claimed they received an evacuation order
Gaza health officials say many patients, medical staff and the displaced on Saturday left Gaza’s largest hospital, which was taken over by Israeli forces earlier in the week.
Palestinian officials and the Israeli military offered conflicting versions about what prompted the mass exodus from Shifa Hospital.
Health officials said they received an evacuation order from the military on Saturday morning, while the military said it had offered safe passage to those hoping to leave. Before the departure, several thousand people, including medical patients in serious condition, were trapped in Shifa in dire conditions.