40 killed, 100 injured in Israeli bombings on central Gaza: Hamas

Gaza, February 23 (IANS) At least 40 Palestinians were killed and 100 others injured in Israeli airstrikes on the central Gaza Strip, the media office of the Hamas-run government in Gaza has said in a press statement.

Israeli aircraft on Thursday launched "several raids" on a number of residential houses in the city of Deir el-Balah, which led to their "complete destruction", Xinhua news agency reported, citing Palestinian security sources.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry noted that the bodies of some victims had been transferred to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

Ambulances and civil defence teams rushed to the sites of the attacks to save people after the Israeli raids left the neighbourhood severely damaged, the security sources added.

Medical sources said that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital is now crowded with thousands of wounded, sick and displaced people.

Israeli army re-enters Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis after short withdrawal

The Israeli army sent four armoured personnel carriers into Nasser Hospital shortly after it withdrew troops from the facility, the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry has said in a statement.

Palestinian security sources told Xinhua news agency on Thursday that the Israeli army forces have converted the complex into a military barracks through days of siege and attacks.

An earlier report by Israel's Channel 13 news claimed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had ended their operation at the hospital.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesman for the health ministry, told the news agency that the hospital housed more than 120 wounded people and patients, as well as medical teams.

He noted that during the siege, the hospital, which is the second-largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, was "without electricity, water, food, oxygen, and proper medical care for critical cases."

He urged the World Health Organization to use all means to pressure Israel to end the "militarization of hospitals and provide all humanitarian and medical needs."

Two days ago, Israeli public radio reported that the army forces fighting in the Nasser Hospital area needed a few more days to complete their control over the site.

It added that the hospital had become a refuge for a large number of Hamas fighters who fled from the northern Gaza Strip, noting that dozens of them were killed, while around two hundred surrendered to the Israeli army, many of whom were disguised in medical personnel uniforms.

In addition, it mentioned that large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and drugs were found at the site, which were transferred to the Israeli detainees.

However, the forces did not obtain any information that would contribute to the release of the abducted persons.