Israeli forces have launched a targeted operation on Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, claiming it is a Hamas command post. The raid, part of an ongoing conflict, has sparked international condemnation and raised concerns about the safety of patients, including newborns.
Israel contends that Hamas uses the hospital for military purposes, while Palestinians and rights groups argue that civilians are being recklessly endangered.
The United States supported Israel’s claim, stating that intelligence indicated hospitals, including Shifa, were used by militants for military operations and to hold hostages. Israel’s military, in a “precise and targeted operation,” entered the hospital with tanks, medical teams, and incubators. The situation inside is challenging to assess independently.
The raid drew criticism from Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and the UN, with the aid chief expressing deep concern. As a result, the burden now lies on Israel to prove its claim of military use while safeguarding civilians. Hospitals lose protected status if used for military purposes, but any attack must be proportional, giving civilian’s time to evacuate.
Shifa hospital, a symbol of Palestinian suffering, had been sheltering tens of thousands seeking safety. With dwindling supplies and a lack of electricity, operations stopped over the weekend, leading to the death of 40 patients, including three babies. The fate of remaining patients, especially premature babies relying on incubators, remains uncertain.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens as a fuel shortage threatens to halt relief operations, affecting food, medicine, and communication services. The international community closely watches as the conflict’s impact on civilians and critical infrastructure unfolds, demanding a delicate balance between military objectives and civilian protection.