GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Israeli tanks advanced on Monday to the gates of Gaza City’s main hospital, a chief target in Israel’s battle against Hamas, as U.S. President Joe Biden said hospitals must be protected and he hoped for less intrusive Israeli action.

Separately, the armed wing of the Palestinian militant group said it was ready to release up to 70 women and children held in Gaza in exchange for a five-day truce in the war triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israel.

Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra, who was inside Al Shifa hospital, said 32 patients had died in the last three days, including three newborn babies, as a result of the siege of the hospital in northern Gaza and a lack of power.

At least 650 patients were still inside, desperate to be evacuated to another medical facility. Israel says the hospital sits atop tunnels housing a headquarters for Hamas fighters using patients as shields, which Hamas denies.

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