Israel’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 133

Israeli forces storm Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, with hundreds of staff, patients trapped under heavy fire.

Here’s how things stand on Friday, February 16, 2024:

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

  • Israeli forces stormed Nasser Hospital’s main building in southern Gaza, hours after Israeli fire killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex.
  • This is the latest Israeli assault on hospitals, where Israeli forces claim Hamas fighters are basing themselves, throughout the Gaza Strip.
  • The raid on Nasser Hospital came after troops had besieged the facility for nearly a week. Hundreds of staff, patients and refugees remain trapped inside, struggling under heavy fire and dwindling supplies, including food and water.
  • Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israeli military, said the raid on Nasser Hospital has led to the arrest of dozens of “terrorists”.
  • In the hospital, he said, they found weapons including mortars and grenades in the possession of the people they arrested. Hagari said some of those detained, including an ambulance driver, were involved in the October 7 attack inside Israel.
  • The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has shared footage showing the destruction in Gaza City caused by Israel’s war against Hamas, and said that 70 percent of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged.

Regional tensions and diplomacy

  • US President Joe Biden has reiterated his warning to Israel not to go ahead with its planned assault on Rafah without a credible plan to ensure the safety of more than a million Palestinians sheltering in the city, according to the White House.
  • Separately, in Lebanon, armed group Hezbollah said it had fired dozens of rockets at a town in northern Israel in response to air raids that killed at least 10 civilians and three Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon.
  • France has delivered a written proposal to Beirut aimed at ending hostilities with Israel and settling the disputed Lebanon-Israel frontier, according to a document seen by Reuters.
  • In Egypt, satellite images from February 15 show the construction of a wall along the Egypt-Gaza border. Egypt has vehemently rejected the forced displacement of Palestinians into its territory, and has denied that it is preparing for an influx of Palestinians being pushed into the Sinai peninsula.
  • Meanwhile, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also said that an aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza has arrived at the El Arish airfield in the north of the Sinai desert in Egypt.

Occupied West Bank

  • The Israeli military carried out an “arrest campaign” in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr, south of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Wafa news agency reported.
  • Israeli forces raided more than 15 homes and “arrested dozens of young men” in the town, Wafa said.
  • Elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have arrested a man from the town of Anabta, east of Tulkarem, while a man has also been arrested in the city of Qalqilya.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies