Israeli forces withdrew from the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Monday after a two-week operation that left most parts of the facility in ruins, reported Al-Jazeera.

The Israeli military had launched the raid on the hospital, the largest in Gaza, on March 18, claiming that Palestinian militant group Hamas was using it as a base for armed operations. Hamas has denied the allegations. Palestinian officials have said the raid on a hospital that was treating severely wounded patients was a war crime.

The Palestinian health ministry said after the Israeli forces left the hospital, dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, were found in and around the medical complex, the BBC reported. The ministry said the hospital was now "completely out of service".

Visuals from the hospital showed people carrying the bodies of those killed on stretchers and looking for their loved ones in the rubble.

Hamas’ government media office alleged that the Israeli military killed 400 Palestinians at Al-Shifa and the surrounding areas.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari, on his part, claimed that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital. He said that more than 900 persons were detained, out of whom over 500 were found to be associated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a paramilitary group that Israel proscribes as a terrorist organisation.

Hagari claimed that Israeli forces took “special efforts not to harm any patients, any medical staff, or any civilians in the area”, according to the BBC. He added that patients who stayed in the compound were given medical supplies and water.

The World Health Organization, however, said that the destruction of the Al-Shifa Hospital “has ripped the heart out of the health system”. It said that only ten out of 36 hospitals in Gaza remain partially functional.

Since October, Israel has been carrying out unprecedented air and ground strikes on Gaza. The attacks have killed nearly 33,000 people, including more than 13,000 children, according to Al Jazeera. Nearly 75,000 people have been left injured.

Israel’s war on Gaza began after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 killed 1,200 people. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and humanitarian aid.