Reports confirm that Israeli snipers have fatally shot a minimum of 21 Palestinians as they targeted displaced civilians attempting to seek refuge at Nasser Hospital in the southern Gaza district of Khan Younis.
According to the reports from Rafah, detailed on Friday snipers had encircled the hospital, indiscriminately firing at anyone attempting to approach from two densely populated residential areas nearby.
“The vicinity surrounding the hospital has become perilous, resembling a battlefield,” Reports Say, highlighting that the hospital currently stands as the sole accessible location in Khan Younis with access to some remaining water supplies.
Various rights organizations have emphasized the urgent need for investigations into the Israeli military’s repeated assaults on medical facilities, personnel, and ambulances, potentially constituting war crimes.
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“Hospitals and similar medical establishments are considered civilian structures with special protections under international humanitarian law and the laws of war,” noted Human Rights Watch.
Reports describing a new pattern of targeted assassinations by snipers, who are now taking aim at Palestinians in public areas. Retrieving the bodies of those killed from such locations, including within medical facilities, poses additional risks for those involved.
“Furthermore, attack drones targeted a group of young individuals on the hospital’s rooftop, who were attempting to establish communication with their families due to the ongoing communication blackout by seeking internet signals on their mobile phones,” According to reports.
Nasser Hospital, alongside al-Amal Hospital, serves as one of the largest medical facilities in Khan Younis. Both hospitals have been under siege for weeks, with the Israeli military claiming to have “encircled” the area, intensifying its offensive via airstrikes, ground operations, and naval bombardments.
The dire situation leaves many Palestinians displaced by previous Israeli assaults with few options for safety within Nasser Hospital. With limited medical staff, patients, and dwindling supplies of food and water, the situation is increasingly dire.
Since the onset of the conflict on October 7, the Israeli military has destroyed or severely damaged numerous medical facilities throughout the Gaza Strip.
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