'Handcuffed, buried alive': Israeli forces devastate al-Shifa during raid

Dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, have been recovered from in and around the al-Shifa medical complex. (Photo/AA)

Israeli forces have pulled out of Gaza's largest hospital complex after an intensive two-week raid, leaving behind charred buildings and bodies strewn at the sprawling complex.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said on Monday that, after heavy Israeli air strikes and tank fire, "the scale of the destruction inside the complex and the buildings around it is very large".

"Dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, have been recovered from in and around the al-Shifa medical complex," it said, adding that the hospital was now "completely out of service".

Several doctors and civilians at the damaged complex told AFP news agency that at least 20 bodies had been found, some of which appeared to have been driven over by military vehicles.

Several were found close to the west entrance to the complex, which the Israeli army used during its departure from the hospital grounds on Monday.

"Bodies, The tanks went over them. Destruction. Children. Innocents. Unarmed civilians. They (soldiers) went over them," one witness said, asking not to be named.

An AFP correspondent saw one badly decomposed body bearing tyre marks, although it was not known when it was driven over.

Call for ICC probe

The scene left behind was one of devastation, with windows blown out, concrete walls blackened and volunteers carrying away shrouded corpses across the sandy wasteland.

Israel said it had battled Hamas members hiding inside Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital, killed at least 200 "enemy fighters" and recovered large stockpiles of weapons, explosives and cash.

However, the Palestinian resistance group Hamas has denied operating from al-Shifa and other health facilities and accused Israel on Monday of committing atrocities during its raid.

In a statement, Hamas said bodies of handcuffed people were buried alive, while others were trampled by tank tracks, without providing any further details.

Hamas held the US administration “fully responsible for the atrocities and deliberate destruction in Gaza."

It called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other organisations “to initiate concrete procedures to investigate the crimes and atrocities committed by Israel at al-Shifa hospital and its surroundings."