Gaza: Israeli soldiers launched a “targeted operation”at Gaza’s largest hospital Al-Shifa in the early hours of Wednesday, accusing Hamas of using it as a command centre.
“Based on intelligence information and an operational necessity, IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital,” the military said.
The IDF further claimed that the Hamas command chamber is located underneath the the largest medical complex in the Strip, where thousands have taken shelter, but added that it is ‘not overrunning’ the hospital. At least 2,300 patients, staff, and displaced civilians are inside the facility, according to the United Nations estimates.
Meanwhile, Hamas held US President Joe Biden ‘wholly responsible’ for the Israeli army operation at Al-Shifa hospital. “The adoption by the White House and the Pentagon of the occupation’s false claim that the resistance is using the Al-Shifa medical complex for military ends has given the green light to the occupation to commit more massacres against civilians,” it said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the White House confirmed Israel’s assessment. “We have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al Shifa, and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
The US, however, told Israel that patients inside the Shifa hospital ‘must be protected’.