The Zionist military announced the raid early Wednesday morning, saying it would carry out a “precise and targeted operation” against Hamas fighters within a “specified area in the Shifa Hospital,” also claiming that the resistance group is using “human shields” there.
“In recent weeks, the ‘Israeli’ military has publicly warned time and again that Hamas’ continued military use of the Shifa hospital jeopardizes its protected status under international law, and enabled ample time to stop this unlawful abuse of the hospital,” the Zionist military alleged.
On Tuesday, Zionist military spokesman Daniel Hagari said the ‘Israeli’ Army considers Gaza hospitals to be legitimate military targets, and reiterated claims that Palestinian forces maintain a command center in underground tunnels below al-Shifa.
Hamas later denounced the ‘Israeli’ occupation military raid, saying it would hold both ‘Israel’ and the US “fully responsible for the repercussions of the occupation army’s storming of the Shifa Medical Complex.” The resistance group accused US officials of peddling a “false narrative” that would enable “more massacres against civilians,” after the White House backed ‘Israeli’ claims that Hamas was using the hospital for military purposes.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said it was informed of the Zionist military raid in advance, and that ‘Israeli’ forces had warned those inside the hospital “not to be near the windows,” according to ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.
The director of al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammad Abu Salmiya, described dire conditions at the facility in comments to AFP on Tuesday night, saying staff had been forced to bury at least 179 dead bodies in a “mass grave.”
“There are bodies littered in the hospital complex, and there is no longer electricity at the morgues,” Salmiya said, adding that seven babies and 29 intensive care patients were among those buried in the hospital courtyard.
The Zionist regime launched an unprecedented military bombardment of the densely-populated Gaza enclave on October 7. Over 11,000 Palestinian people have been martyred in weeks of artillery and airstrikes in Gaza, Palestinian health officials have said, adding that around 40% of the fatalities are children.