The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) brought desperately-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza’s largest hospital al-Shifa on Wednesday, in the midst of their ‘precise and targeted’ military operation against Hamas militants.
“IDF troops are continuing the precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, in which they are conducting searches for Hamas terror infrastructure and weapons. The troops delivered humanitarian aid to the entrance of the hospital,” the military said on X.
The aid includes incubators, baby food and medical supplies, which are critically needed by the hospital as it has become the latest focus of the ongoing war with increased fighting and encirclement by Israeli forces.
Medical teams of the IDF, together with Arabic-speaking soldiers, are present in the field to make sure that the medical equipment reaches those who need it. Before entering the hospital, Israeli forces encountered explosives and terrorist squads and a firefight ensued in which terrorists were eliminated.
Meanwhile, the United Nations on Wednesday said that it was “appalled” over the Israeli operation in the al-Shifa hospital. “The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns. Hospitals are not battlegrounds,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN humanitarian chief.
The Israeli military operation in al-Shifa
Earlier today, the IDF said that it has launched a “targeted military operation” against Hamas inside al-Shifa, where thousands of Palestinians are believed to have taken shelter. “IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, based on intelligence information and an operational necessity… Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza,” said the military.
The hospital has run out of fuel and is believed to be no longer functioning, doctors warned of a “catastrophic” situation for thousands of patients, staff and internally displaced people still residing there.
Israel has previously accused Hamas of using hospitals as cover for its fighters, and that Hamas has set up its main command center in and beneath the al-Shifa hospital. Both Hamas and al-Shifa hospital staff have denied the allegations.
The White House and the Pentagon accused Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad groups of storing weapons beneath the al-Shifa hospital and operating a command centre there as a way to “conceal their military operations and hold hostages”, in line with Israeli claims. Hamas slammed the statements, saying that by supporting Israel’s “false narrative”, the US has given it a “green light to commit more massacres against civilians”.
Meanwhile, Israeli defense officials said they have agreed to allow some fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip for humanitarian purposes. It was the first time Israel had allowed fuel into the besieged territory since Hamas’ bloody cross-border invasion on October 7.
The IDF on Tuesday claimed that troops of the 7th Armored Brigade and Golani Infantry Brigade have captured several Hamas governmental buildings including Gaza Parliament and other crucial sites. Among the sites captured by the troops are the Hamas parliament, its government complex, and the police headquarters, Times of Israel reported citing an Army statement.
More than 11,200 people, two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah. About 2,700 people have been reported missing and more than half of the population has been displaced.
(with agency inputs)