By Athena Papakosta

Heavy fighting is being recorded around two major hospitals in Gaza City as Israeli forces continue to operate in the heart of the city.

According to reports, Israeli army tanks opened fire near the Al Quds hospital in the Tal Al Hagou neighborhood while, as announced by the IDF, the Israeli army raided a Hamas military headquarters near the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, Al Shifa, killing 50. “terrorists”, of the Palestinian Islamist organization. According to the Israeli armed forces, the headquarters of Hamas is located in the underground facilities of Al Shifa, which is located in the Rimal district. Both Hamas and the hospital’s medical and nursing staff deny the accusation.

2,000 patients and nearly 50,000 displaced people remain inside Al Shifa hospital with reports in the last 24 hours that the Israeli army’s cordon is tightening with its forces within striking distance.

As far as Al Quds Hospital is concerned, at least 1,200 patients are being treated and around 14,000 have taken refuge there, with the Palestinian Red Crescent reporting that areas near the hospital have been targeted by the Israeli army.

Israel has been bombarding Gaza for 35 days with its ground operation underway for the past two weeks aimed at crushing Hamas with the country’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallad reiterating that “we will not stop the war until the hostages”.

It was preceded by White House announcements that Israel would begin daily four-hour pauses in the northern Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians to flee southward.

According to the representative of the National Security Council of the United States, John Kirby, the announcement of these pauses will be made three hours before their start with Israel allowing the opening of a total of two humanitarian corridors from the north to the south of the Palestinian enclave.

For its part, however, the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a statement according to which “Israel allows safe passage corridors from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south.” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallad echoed the same sentiment, saying that the Israeli military is taking local precision measures in the Gaza Strip without directly answering a reporter’s question about the United States’ announcements.

At the same time, a tripartite meeting was held in Doha between the heads of the CIA, William Burns, the Mossad, David Barnea, and the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, on the parameters of an agreement regarding a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and the release of hostages .

A day before, Qatari mediators had a meeting with officials from the political office of Hamas, while yesterday senior officials of the Islamist Palestinian organization arrived in Cairo, including the political leader of Ismail Haniya and its former leader Khaled Messal.

At the same time, media in Qatar and Egypt report that the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is also expected in the capital of Egypt today.

The Israel-Hamas war continues for a 35th day with the death toll in the Gaza Strip at least 10,812 as the humanitarian drama in the Palestinian enclave continues.