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Palestinians report more than 200 dead

Helper: “Apocalyptic” situation
Palestinians report more than 200 dead

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Israel celebrates the liberation of four hostages from the hands of Hamas terrorists. According to Palestinian sources, the operation was bloody. Aid workers report “apocalyptic” conditions in hospitals. Palestinian President Abbas calls the highest UN body.

In connection with the liberation of four Israeli hostages, heavy fighting broke out in the Gaza Strip with many deaths. According to the Palestinian Authority, at least 210 Palestinians were killed. On the Israeli side, a policeman died in the fighting. In the refugee district of Al-Nuseirat in the center of the coastal region, where the Israeli army says it freed the hostages, around 400 people were injured, the Hamas media office said. The information could not initially be independently verified.

The health authority in Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas, and medical circles in the Gaza Strip had previously spoken of 55 deaths. Israel's army spokesman Daniel Hagari, on the other hand, spoke of fewer than 100 deaths in connection with the rescue operation. “I don't know how many of them are terrorists,” he said. In addition, extremists had used civilians as human shields.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an extraordinary session of the UN Security Council to discuss the consequences of the “cruel massacre” by the Israeli army, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, citing Abbas. He called for international intervention to end the humanitarian catastrophe in the Palestinian territories.

According to Israeli reports, the hostage rescue was carried out in a large-scale joint operation by the army, the domestic intelligence service and special police forces. The four hostages were held in multi-story civilian residential buildings. The three freed men were in one apartment, and a young woman was in another apartment around 200 meters away, Hagari said. They were held in locked rooms and guarded by several people.

Military knocks on the door

According to Hagari, the rescue operations in both buildings took place simultaneously in the morning to prevent advance warning of an army operation and thus the killing of the hostages in the other building. In the apartment where the woman was, the guards were completely surprised. In the other apartment, a heavy firefight broke out, in the course of which a high-ranking police officer was seriously injured and later died in hospital.

Hundreds of emergency personnel were stationed in the area at the same time to provide cover for the special forces. The hostages were released, protected by the emergency personnel, and initially taken to cars. “We give them human shields so that they don't get caught in the crossfire,” said Hagari. Finally, the four were flown by helicopter to a clinic in Israel. Israeli media quoted a relative of the freed woman as saying that the military had knocked on the door that morning and shouted that they had come to rescue her.

According to eyewitnesses, the fighting in Nuseirat was accompanied by heavy air and artillery attacks. Pictures and reports from the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, where many victims were brought, show a catastrophic situation. Pictures that are supposed to show scenes from the hospital where the victims were treated show victims covered in blood, dead people and injured children. Employees report that complete chaos has broken out in the clinic.

“Situation of extreme propaganda”

The aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also made serious accusations against Israel. “The scenes that our teams have reported from Gaza in recent days are absolutely horrific. The only word that comes to mind to describe it is 'apocalyptic',” MSF Secretary General Christopher Lockyear told CNN. With regard to medical care, he said: “We are in a situation where people are being treated in other people's blood.” On Platform X, the organization stated that after the recent “intense bombardments” in the center of the Gaza Strip, aid workers in the Al-Aqsa and Nasser hospitals were faced with an “overwhelming number of seriously injured patients, including many women and children.”

Lockyear also accused the Israeli side of spreading false information about humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. He spoke of “a situation of extreme propaganda”. The Israeli military and the Israeli agency responsible for humanitarian aid, COGAT, had previously published a map on the X platform, among others, which suggested that Doctors Without Borders was running a field hospital in the Gaza Strip. This was not true, Lockyear clarified. The aid organization does support local hospitals and centers for basic medical care. “But we do not run a field hospital in the Gaza Strip.” Specifically, although there is permission for such a facility, there is no authorization to import the necessary equipment. “So it is not correct to report this,” stressed Lockyear.

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