Backed by tanks, the Israeli military rolled into Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital on Wednesday. Israel’s military is carrying out what it claims is a “Targeted” operation against Hamas members. The raid was triggered by Israeli and United States intelligence.
Israeli forces have raided the Hospital, where thousands of Palestinians are sheltering, following days of heavy attacks in the area surrounding the complex in Gaza City.
Nowhere to go
Gaza’s largest hospital is said to be sheltering thousands of civilians as well as 700 patients, including 100 in critical condition. More than 1000 medical personnel are also trapped inside the hospital. However, treatment of patients has stopped due to the hospital running out of medical supplies. Israel’s military said early on Wednesday morning that it was carrying out an “operation against Hamas in a specified area” at al-Shifa. Israel accuses Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, of using the hospital as a base. Hamas rejects the claim
You can also read: Israeli forces face fierce resistance in advance towards Gaza city
Dozens of Israeli soldiers entered the facility while tanks were stationed in the courtyard of the medical complex. According to sources inside al-Shifa, Israeli soldiers are using loudspeakers and ordering young men to surrender themselves. About 30 people were reportedly taken out into the courtyard, stripped of their clothes, blindfolded, and interrogated by Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces have also blown up a warehouse of medicine and medical devices, sources said.
Gaza population in despair
Israel launched its latest Gaza offensive on Friday 27th October. Before, during, and throughout Israel’s military offensive; the Israeli air force carried out a bombing campaign of Gaza on an unprecedented scale. The bombardment destroyed homes, killed thousands, and pushed Gaza toward the brink of collapse. Thousands of civilians displaced by Israel’s five-week bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 11,200 Palestinians. The scope of the casualty has been indiscriminate, with no one spared from the wrath of Israeli bombardment.
Warzone around a Hospital
The area around al-Shifa has been battered by multiple Israeli attacks for weeks. The Israeli government has issued warnings to evacuate the facility. However, Palestinian medical officials have rejected the order, saying they cannot leave their patients behind.
Amid the raid, Palestinian Authority Health Minister Dr. Mai al-Kaila said, in a statement published by the Palestinian news agency Wafa, that Israeli forces “are committing a new crime against humanity, medical staff, and patients”.
The Palestinian government holds Israeli forces “responsible for the lives of the medical staff, patients and displaced people in the al-Shifa complex,” she added.
Attack without proof and violation of Geneva Convention
While Israel claimed to have carried out the raid based on its own and US intelligence; Israel has not produced evidence to back up its assertion. Israel has always accused that the hospitals (including al-Shifa) inside Gaza have been used for military purposes. Israeli officials specifically cited that al-Shifa was used as a military command center by Hamas. Hamas and hospital officials have repeatedly and vehemently denied such allegations. The lack of evidence by Israeli officials lends credence to Hama’s and hospital official claims. The attack is also a direct violation of the Geneva Convention which provides special protection to hospitals under war conditions.
America stands silent
While the Israeli military bombs and invades Gaza without impunity, the United States stands firm in its support of Israel. Although the official narrative of the US government has been that they do not “encourage” any military or government to attack hospitals; they have stopped glaringly short of condemning the attacks. The brutality of the Israeli attack has already turned the majority of the world against Israel. The capacity of cruelty inflicted by Israeli forces has sounded even Israel’s dependable allies; with French President Emmanuel Macron urging Israel to stop bombing Gaza. This indicates that even Israel’s allies are getting cold with seeing its inhumane bombing of a civilian population. As international pressure mounts, it is a question of human conscience of when, and if Israel will stop.
As power and medical supplies have run out, conditions have turned hellish. A desperate race has erupted inside as doctors try their best to keep premature babies alive and perform limited operations under candlelight. More than 150 bodies are being planned to be buried in a mass grave; however, there are fears that the grave would not be large enough.