the Gaza Strip.
The IDF is conducting a focused operation in a designated part of the Gaza Strip aimed at Hamas..
The IDF stated that the ground operation was carried out due to intelligence and “operation necessity.” This decision came after repeated warnings to Hamas not to use the hospital as a base for their operations. The statement was released on Wednesday morning in local time.
Yesterday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) informed the authorities in Gaza that any military operations must stop within 12 hours in the hospital. However, this did not occur. The IDF also stated that Hamas’s reported use of the hospital goes against international laws.
Biden stated that it is crucial to safeguard hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
Biden expressed his hope and anticipation that there will be fewer invasive measures taken in regards to hospitals, when asked by reporters.
The IDF reported that the personnel participating in the mission consist of medical personnel and individuals fluent in Arabic, who have received specialized training to handle the challenging and delicate situation. The goal is to ensure the safety of innocent civilians who have been forced to serve as human shields by Hamas.
Al-Shifa is in the heart of Gaza City and at the center of a tense standoff. The World Health Organization has called the situation for patients at the Palestinian territory’s largest hospital “dire and perilous.”
Israel alleges that Hamas maintains an underground base beneath the expansive premises, a claim that both Hamas and medical professionals at Al-Shifa refute. Israeli and American authorities have emphasized that Hamas has a track record of placing arms and combatants in residential dwellings, educational institutions, and medical centers.
According to John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the U.S. National Security Council, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are known to use certain hospitals in the Gaza Strip, such as Al Shifa Hospital, and underground tunnels in order to hide and aid their military activities and keep hostages.
According to Kirby, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have a “command and control node” at Al-Shifa, but it is important to clarify that the US does not condone bombing hospitals and does not want to see fighting take place in a hospital where innocent, vulnerable, and sick individuals seeking medical treatment are put in danger. The safety of hospitals and patients must be a top priority.
On October 7th, Israel was targeted, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare a state of war. According to Israel, around 1,200 individuals were killed in the planned and widespread attack, with the majority being innocent civilians.
The Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory under the control of Hamas for several years, was the site of the launch.
Netanyahu has said a cease-fire will be possible only if the approximately 240 hostages held in Gaza are released. But Israel’s punishing response has divided the international community.
Over 11,070 Palestinians, with a majority being women and minors, have lost their lives since the start of the conflict. This information comes from the Health Ministry in Gaza, under the control of Hamas. The ministry does not distinguish between civilian and militant casualties. Additionally, there are around 2,700 individuals who have been reported missing and may be buried under the debris or deceased.
According to the United Nations, over 1.5 million individuals, which makes up over two-thirds of Gaza’s population, have left their homes in the northern region of Gaza to seek refuge in the southern part of the territory due to the ongoing conflict. At the same time, approximately 250,000 Israelis have been compelled to leave their homes in areas near Gaza and along the northern border with Lebanon. This is a result of ongoing clashes between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters.
Reporting was contributed by Camilla Schick, Margaret Brennan, and Haley Ott.