Israel justifies attacks on hospitals in Gaza

A spokesperson for the Israeli military has justified its attacks on hospitals and nearby areas in the Gaza Strip, saying Hamas has facilities under the buildings. But the Palestinian Islamic group denies the claim and accuses Israel of spreading lies.

The spokesperson made the remarks on Sunday, when another such attack reportedly occurred.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society posted on social media that a building about 50 meters from a hospital in the Tal Al-Hawa area of Gaza City came under attack. It added that dozens of people were injured, including a patient in an intensive care unit.

The attack came two days after 15 people were killed in a missile strike that hit two ambulances near Al-Shifa Hospital, one of the largest medical centers in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, sources familiar with the Egyptian Red Crescent told NHK that the evacuation of wounded people and foreigners from the Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah crossing has been suspended since Saturday.

The sources told NHK on Sunday that they believe the suspension comes as Hamas does not allow foreigners to evacuate unless a safe transfer passage is secured for injured people. The evacuation began on Wednesday.

Health officials in Gaza say 9,770 people have been killed in the territory since the fighting erupted on October 7. At least 1,400 people have lost their lives on the Israeli side.

In a related development, Reuters news agency quotes Lebanese authorities as saying an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon left three children and their grandmother dead. The attack could provoke retaliation from the Lebanon-based Shia militant group Hezbollah.