The Israeli military said it was carrying out a raid on Wednesday in Al Shifa Hospital, having urged them to surrender with thousands of Palestinian civilians still sheltering inside the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital.

Dr Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry said that Israeli forces had raided the western side of the medical complex.

“There are big explosions and dust entered the areas where we are. We believe an explosion occurred inside the hospital,” Bursh said.

Gaza´s main hospital has been forced to bury scores of dead patients in a mass grave, its director said Tuesday, while thousands of Palestinians were trapped inside by fierce combat.

“There are bodies littered in the hospital complex and there is no longer electricity at the morgues,” said Al-Shifa hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiya, adding that 179 bodies had been interred so far.

“We were forced to bury them in a mass grave,” he said, adding that seven babies and 29 intensive care patients were among those who had died after fuel for the hospital´s generator ran out.

A witness said the stench of decomposing bodies was everywhere in the Gaza City facility as bombardment and gunfire echoed constantly in the area.

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