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US denies sanctioning Gaza hospital raid amid Israeli troops' extensive search

The US denied approving the Israeli operation at Al-Shifa Hospital. Israeli troops expanded the search, showcasing seized Hamas arms and ammunition in a released video

Written by  Annesha Barua -- November 16th 2023 08:38 AM
US denies sanctioning Gaza hospital raid amid Israeli troops' extensive search

US denies sanctioning Gaza hospital raid amid Israeli troops' extensive search

Israel-Gaza conflict: The United States has firmly denied allegations that it endorsed the Israeli military incursion into Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, contradicting claims made by Israeli forces that suggested American approval. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby asserted on Wednesday that the US had not given its consent to any military actions surrounding the hospital.

The denial from Washington comes in the midst of an ongoing search by Israeli troops within the hospital premises, asserting that it served as a hub for Hamas operations. Israeli military personnel claim to have uncovered weapons and combat equipment belonging to Hamas inside the hospital. In support of their claims, the Israeli forces released a video purportedly showcasing the seized arms and ammunition.

Simultaneously, Qatar has announced efforts towards brokering a ceasefire agreement, intending to secure the release of approximately 50 civilian hostages from Gaza. The proposed agreement also includes provisions for an increase in humanitarian aid entering the region.

Key developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict include the following:

  • US Denial: The US has refuted allegations of endorsing the Israeli raid on Al-Shifa Hospital, countering accusations of complicity made by Hamas. John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, explicitly stated, "We did not give an OK to their military operations around the hospital." Kirby refrained from confirming whether the US was forewarned by Israel ahead of the attack during discussions between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Intelligence Assessment: The US had previously asserted that an intelligence assessment supported Israel's claims, stating that Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City functioned as a significant Hamas command center.
  • Israeli Military's Findings: Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief Israeli military spokesperson, declared the discovery of weapons and combat gear associated with Hamas within the hospital complex. The Israeli army released video evidence showcasing the recovered materials, including automatic weapons and ammunition.
  • Extended Search: Israeli forces, having entered Al-Shifa Hospital a day earlier, have expanded their search within the facility, alleging that Hamas was utilizing it for military purposes. These claims have been vehemently denied by hospital staff and Hamas.
  • Ceasefire Efforts: Reports from the news agency Reuters suggest that Qatari mediators are actively involved in negotiating a deal between Hamas and Israel. The proposed agreement involves the release of approximately 50 civilian hostages from Gaza in exchange for a ceasefire. The coordination of these efforts includes the participation of the US. While Hamas has reportedly agreed to the general outlines of the deal, Israel is still in negotiations over the specifics.

In summary, the denial by the US of approving the Israeli military operation at Al-Shifa Hospital adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing conflict, which is marked by conflicting narratives and diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching a ceasefire and addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

- With inputs from agencies


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