The Israeli military said it was carrying out a raid on Wednesday against Palestinian Hamas militants in Al Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip's biggest hospital, and urged them all to surrender.

Less than an hour earlier, around 1 a.m. local time, a Gaza health ministry spokesman said Israel had told officials in the enclave that it would raid the Shifa hospital complex "in the coming minutes."

Dr. Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry, told Al Jazeera television 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.