Israeli forces on Saturday night claimed to have killed a Hamas commander who held 1,000 Gazans “hostage” in a hospital as human shields.
The Israel Defense Forces said that Ahmed Siam, a leader in Hamas’s al-Furqan Brigade, had blocked civilians from evacuating the Al-Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City earlier this week.
Israeli troops have been urging civilians to flee to southern Gaza to avoid them getting caught in crossfire.
The IDF said that Siam and several other terrorists were killed while hiding out at a school building in Gaza, following a joint operation with Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency.
“Ahmed Siam demonstrates once again that Hamas uses the civilians of the Gaza Strip as human shields for terror purposes,” the IDF added.
The operation came as clashes intensified around the largest hospital in Gaza, Al-Shifa, which Israeli forces claim houses a subterranean Hamas command and control centre. Fighting was said to be taking place less than 500 metres away, with the hospital saying it had run out of fuel and electricity.
People stand outside the emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City – AFP
Officials from the Hamas-run health ministry and hospital medics claimed that Israeli snipers had their sights trained on the buildings and were