Israeli Troops Enter Gaza’s Largest Hospital in Search for Hamas Weapons
Concerns for Patients and Civilians
Israeli troops have conducted a targeted operation at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, searching for Hamas weapons and infrastructure. This operation has raised concerns for the safety of thousands of patients and civilians taking shelter at the site.
Al-Shifa Hospital as a Major Focus
Al-Shifa hospital, believed to be sitting on top of a network of underground tunnels housing Hamas command centres, has become a major focus of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza.
Weapons and Evidence Found
During the operation, Israeli troops discovered weapons and other terrorist infrastructure within the hospital complex. They also found concrete evidence suggesting that Hamas used the hospital as a terror headquarters.
Impact on Patients and Civilians
The situation at Al-Shifa hospital has been described as terrifying by the emergency supervisor, Omar Zaqout. Israeli soldiers have reportedly interrogated displaced people sheltering in the hospital, taking them to unknown locations.
International concern has grown regarding the fate of the hospital’s patients and the civilians seeking sanctuary there. The lack of fuel has caused Al-Shifa to stop functioning, exacerbating the crisis.
Operation Based on Intelligence and Necessity
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that the operation at Al-Shifa was based on intelligence and operational necessity. They assured that the operation was not intended to harm patients, medical teams, or civilians staying at the hospital.
Alarm from Aid Agencies
International aid agencies, including the World Health Organization, expressed alarm over the reports of the Israeli incursion at Al-Shifa. Concerns were raised for the safety of health personnel and patients at the hospital.
Claims and Counterclaims
Israeli officials claim to have encountered and killed four Hamas militants outside the hospital at the start of the operation. They also delivered medical equipment and supplies to ensure those in need receive proper care.
Dismissing Israeli Claims
Doctors at Al-Shifa have repeatedly dismissed Israeli claims that the hospital is being used for Hamas’s military operations. The government spokesperson in Gaza described Israel’s advance into the hospital as a war crime.
Tension between Israel and Western Allies
The desperate situation in Gaza’s hospitals has caused tension between Israel and its western allies. Calls for restraint and the protection of hospitals have escalated.
Humanitarian Crisis Deepens
The assault on Al-Shifa hospital coincided with the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Shortages of food, fuel, water, and other necessities have exacerbated the situation.
Telecom Blackout Looms
Two telecommunications networks in Gaza have warned of an imminent shutdown due to fuel depletion. This will lead to a complete telecom blackout in the coming hours.
Fuel Restrictions Affecting Aid
The UN’s Palestinian aid agency in Gaza has received limited fuel from Egypt, but its use has been restricted by Israeli authorities. This has prevented the fuel from reaching hospitals and providing necessary services.
Worsening Conditions in Gaza
Gaza’s population has endured worsening conditions since the conflict began. The loss of lives, displacement, and lack of resources have created an urgent need for humanitarian assistance.
Mass Grave at Al-Shifa
The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reported that a mass grave containing 170 individuals has been created at Al-Shifa’s courtyard. The difficulty of burying them elsewhere due to the siege imposed on the hospital has led to this situation.
Read More of this Story at www.ft.com – 2023-11-15 12:30:10
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