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What’s Tel Aviv Seeking behind Shifa Hospital Siege?

24 Mar 2024 21:02

Islam Times - For the seventh day, the Israeli forces continue to encircle Shifa Hospital in north of Gaza and threaten the medical staff and displaced people with explosion of the building. People seeking shelter there along with personnel are told that if they do not leave the building, they will die under the ruins.

The threats of the Israeli army against the besieged have gradually taken on a practical aspect, and for several days, the images published from the hospital show the martyrdom of patients, requests for help from the medical staff, arrests, executions, torture of civilians, and the explosion of parts of the complex. The Israelis also blow up houses around the hospital.

The exact number of the besieged has not been published, but it is said that thousands of people are still inside the hospital, most of them are sick and injured. So far, the siege and the lack of medicine have led to the death of at least 4 patients, and the continuation of the siege threatens more lives.

The Israelis, while previously claiming that Hamas leaders used the hospital for operational purposes and reported the arrest of dozens of resistance fighters in this hospital, later had to take back these claims. The Israeli army admitted that the pictures published about the people arrested in the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City were fake. However, the claim of military use of the hospital is still an excuse to maintain the siege and pressure on the displaced and patients.

This is not the first time that these claims have been made, and at the beginning of the war, the Israeli forces besieged and attacked medical centers in northern Gaza, especially Shifa Hospital, under the pretext of having documents about the existence of Hamas secret tunnels and the command center under the hospital. They have never provided evidence for their claims, and this proved that attacking medical and health centers and shelters is a strategic military goal of the regime's army in the war, and the complete destruction of Gaza's health and medical infrastructure and the killing and capture of medical staff and patients and children, in the continuation of the developments, made this issue completely conspicuous.

Now and after six months of war, the return of the Israelis to the hospital seige plan raises questions about the rejuvenated attacks on the Gaza medical centers. 

In this regard, Suleiman Beshsrat, an expert of Israeli affairs, believes that Israeli aggression on the Gaza medical centers is no longer new, but is part of the systematic policy of the occupiers in war that was approved since day one. 

This Palestinian researcher told Al-Arabi TV that the Israeli army chief of staff's justification for the attack on the Shifa Hospital will not fool any observer and that the primary goal of the operation in the hospital is to gain a trump card for the negotiating table.

Iyad al-Qura, another Arab researcher, also confirms the issue and believes that the Israeli army was preparing to attack Shifa to gain a leverage when the delegation of this regime visited to Doha. 

Al-Qura states that the renewed siege of the key Gaza hospital is the result of the Israeli army not achieving tangible military gains after nearly 6 months of war in Gaza, during which, contrary to the initial promises of the regime's political leaders, not only were the Israeli prisoners released, but also after suffering hundreds of casualties and billions of dollars in economic damage, the intelligence estimates of Western intelligence agencies indicate the unrealizablity of the idea of Hamas destruction. 

He believes that Israeli occupation also evades negotiations, and they are struggling to make any gains on the battleground into a leverage for talks with Hamas. 

In addition to the significance of negotiations, what captivates the attention of the observers in dealing with the renewed round of Israeli attacks is the fact that Israeli regime is pushing to fully evacuate northern Gaza to block return of the displaced civilians. 

Over the past few months, the Israeli cabinet talked about establishing a buffer zone between the Israeli settlements of Gaza Envelope and Gaza Strip with the aim of protecting their security in the future. Advancing this scenario requires permanent evacuation of northern Gaza regions. So, presence of thousands of refugees in the hospital poses an obstacle to realization of this scheme. To force the people out of these regions, the Israeli regime is implementing a policy of terror, massacre, and siege. 

In this connection, Hesham Naji, a medical assistance activist, suggests that the occupation's strategy for relocation of the civilians rests on dealing blows to the hospitals, medical centers, schools, and markets so that the civilians lose all the basics for living in this region, and it becomes easier for the Israelis to relocate them.

Naji talks about injuries and casualties he has never seen in his life anywhere but Gaza. He describes denayal of medicine to the hospital as an unprecedented crime against the humanity and notes that the objective behind this blockade is full evacuation of Gaza and finally its occupation. 

Story Code: 1124670

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