NewsIsraeli raid on Gaza's hospital - Hamas allegedly hiding there

Israeli raid on Gaza's hospital - Hamas allegedly hiding there

Israeli raid on Gaza's hospital - Hamas allegedly hiding there
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu Agency
ed. SBO

11:58 AM EST, November 15, 2023

The Israeli army has announced initiating a "targeted operation" against Hamas in the largest hospital of the Gaza Strip, Al Shifa. The IDF asserts it has entered with medical personnel to attend to patients. The military is pressing Hamas to surrender.

"Based on intelligence information and operational necessity, the IDF forces are conducting a precise operation against Hamas in certain areas of the Al Shifa hospital," declares the IDF statement.

The statement highlights that "there are medical teams and Arabic-speaking individuals in the IDF who have undergone specialized training to prepare for these complex and particular conditions to avoid harming civilians."

The Gaza Health Ministry confirmed that the Israeli army had previously alerted them about the operation against Hamas in the hospital. The IDF asserts that this warning was issued 12 hours before the planned operation, advising an end to any Hamas activities in the hospital.

The Health Ministry, run by Hamas, holds Israel entirely responsible for the lives of patients, medical staff, and refugees seeking shelter in the hospital. Alongside patients and staff, there are thousands of people who sought refuge in the hospital, having been forced to abandon their homes due to the conflict.

Explosions in Gaza's hospital: U.S. responds

Youssef Abul Reesh, an official of the Hamas-run health ministry based in Shifa Hospital, claims to have seen Israeli tanks in the complex and "scores of soldiers and commandos inside the hospital grounds".

Munir al-Bursh, the Director-General of the Gaza Health Ministry, informs Al Jazeera television that the hospital has witnessed several explosions. "Large explosions have occurred, with dust infiltrating where we are. We suspect the explosion took place in the hospital," Bursh stated.

Earlier, John Kirby expressed that the U.S. has evidence of Hamas using hospitals in Gaza as a shelter and holding hostages. Despite this, he added, the U.S. opposes any bombing or combat on hospital grounds.

Hundreds of patients remain at the hospital. Israel insists hostages also present

The largest hospital in Gaza still harbors several hundred patients who "cannot be evacuated", the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip informed CNN. "The problem isn't the doctors, but the patients. If we abandon them, they will die. If we transfer them, they will also die", declared Munir Al-Bursh.

Apart from patients and staff, there are civilians who sought shelter in the hospital and haven't yet evacuated despite the Israeli army's urging. A reporter from Al-Arabiya reported onsite that these people are too frightened to leave. CNN emphasized the difficulty in verifying the conflicting information regarding the number of patients, doctors, and civilians still in Al-Shifa.

The Israeli army firmly believes that under the hospital, in the bunkers and tunnels (whose existence is denied by both Hamas and the hospital administration), terrorist infrastructure and possibly hostages kidnapped to the Gaza Strip during the October 7 attack on Israel may be found.

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