The Israel-Hamas war has raged on for over a month now, as thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives amongst the fighting and there is now widespread destruction in Gaza. On Wednesday, November 15, Israeli forces were successful in their raid of Gaza’s largest hospital – al-Shifa Hospital – a facility filled with hundreds of patients, including newborns.
This raid is at the heart of clashing narratives around the war and a potent symbol of Palestinian suffering.
Israel views Shifa Hospital as a key target in this conflict, accusing Hamas of using it as a command post nestled under civilians without providing visual evidence. They claim that the militants are using Palestinians as human shields, an accusation denied by both Hamas and Gaza health officials alike.
Rights groups are decrying what they say is Israel recklessly endangering civilians in their efforts to eradicate Hamas from the region.
Our forces are on the ground in Gaza delivering humanitarian aid to the Shifa Hospital.
The goal is to continue the precise and targeted operation against Hamas, a terrorist organization which hides behind civilians.
Hamas uses the Shifa hospital and hospitals across Gaza as… pic.twitter.com/7gigDqkfRT
— Israel ישראל ???????? (@Israel) November 15, 2023
Adding to the already dangerous situation is a worsening fuel shortage across all of Gaza which threatens to shut down not only humanitarian services but also mobile phone and internet networks across the region. Munir al-Boursh, who works for Gaza’s Health Ministry, reported that Israeli forces have ransacked parts of Shifa including its emergency and surgery departments while patients became increasingly terrified.
The Israeli military claims they were accompanied by medical teams bringing incubators into the hospital compound as well as boxes labeled “medical supplies” and “baby food” in English while searching for hostages held by Hamas militants; yet it was impossible to independently assess this situation inside the hospital walls.
Global condemnation came swiftly following news of this raid with Jordan releasing statements alongside internationally recognized Palestinian Authority calling it a violation of international law. U.N aid chief Martin Griffiths expressed his shock saying that protection for civilians must come before all other matters at play here while 40 patients have died since Shifa ran out of fuel over the weekend due to lack of power supply for incubators holding 36 premature babies whose fate remains uncertain at present time.