Photo Credit: Gideon Markowicz/TPS
IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari during a press conference on Oct. 15, 2023.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari announced Saturday evening that Israeli ground forces with air and naval support are “deepening” operations in Gaza City’s al-Shati neighborhood.

Hagari firmly denied that IDF troops had attacked Shifa hospital, but said the forces are indeed fighting Hamas in the area.

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The IDF spokesperson said Israeli forces will assist in the evacuation of babies from Shifa Hospital.

“There has been a lot of misinformation from Gaza today, so I want to clarify the facts.

“There is no siege, I repeat no siege, on Shifa Hospital,” Hagari emphasized.

“The east side of the hospital is open for the safe passage of Gazans who wish to leave the hospital. We’re speaking directly and regularly with the hospital staff.

“The staff of Shifa Hospital has requested that tomorrow we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed,” he said.

Gaza sources suggest the majority of displaced persons in Shifa have evacuated through the humanitarian corridor in the past 24 hours. 

“Hundreds of thousands of Gazan civilians have moved south and Hamas is doing everything it can to prevent them from moving,” Hagari said.

“Hamas uses civilians as human shields. It is willing to use the children of Gaza to protect itself. Thus, Hamas’ evil knows no limits.

“Hamas-ISIS hides in hospitals, humanitarian facilities, and schools. It commits all of these violations of international law. We will continue to expose these heinous actions to the world.”

Gaza residents also reported Saturday that Israeli forces have reached the Al Quds hospital south Gaza City in Tel Al Hawa.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.