Israel-Gaza conflict: In a move that has sparked international concern, Israel has initiated a "targeted operation" within Gaza's largest hospital, al-Shifa, alleging its use by Hamas as a command center. The hospital, currently providing shelter for thousands of sick and displaced Gazans, faces the risk of intensified criticism against Israel.
Here are key updates on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict:
- Israeli troops are engaged in what they describe as "a precise and targeted operation against Hamas" within al-Shifa hospital.
- The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) issued a statement conveying to Gaza's authorities that all military activities within the hospital should cease within 12 hours, a demand that reportedly went unheeded. The IDF has also called on Hamas operatives in the hospital to surrender.
- The United Nations estimates that approximately 2,300 individuals, including patients, staff, and displaced civilians, are currently trapped inside the facility due to days of intense fighting and aerial bombardments.
- As of Tuesday, the hospital was caring for 36 babies, with medical staff highlighting the lack of a clear mechanism for their evacuation, despite Israeli attempts to supply incubators.
- Tragically, three premature babies have already succumbed to the dire situation after the hospital ran out of fuel for generators maintaining their incubators over the weekend.
- Aid agencies and hospital staff describe the current situation as "catastrophic," with medical procedures being conducted without anesthesia, families residing in corridors with minimal food and water, and the smell of decomposing corpses permeating the air.
- Hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiya reported that bodies are scattered across the hospital complex, and morgues are without electricity.
- Both Israel and the United States have alleged that Hamas operatives exploit Gaza's hospitals for hiding command posts and hostages through underground tunnels.
- In response, Hamas has accused U.S. President Joe Biden of being "wholly responsible" for the operations at al-Shifa hospital, holding Israel and the U.S. accountable for the assault on the medical complex.
- The unfolding events at al-Shifa hospital raise serious concerns about the impact on civilian lives and humanitarian conditions amid the ongoing conflict in the region.
- With inputs from agencies