Did the Israeli army also kill medical staff at Al-Shifa Hospital?

Did the Israeli army also kill medical staff at Al-Shifa Hospital?
Did the Israeli army also kill medical staff at Al-Shifa Hospital?

The Al-Shifa hospital in central Gaza, the largest in the entire strip with almost a thousand beds in peacetime, has been severely damaged. This can clearly be seen on recent video footage. One of the surgeons, Taysir al-Tanna, spoke of a ruinThe New York Times. The main gate of the enormous building has been destroyed, and most areas – including the emergency department, obstetrics and the operating room for surgeons – have also been severely damaged, according to the doctor. Many rooms show traces of gunfire, in others it has burned and the walls are blackened. Large piles of soil and dirt were dumped with bulldozers in various places in the complex.

A hospital facade after and before the siege. — © afp

However, 107 patients remained in the hospital on Monday, if that can still be called that. Thirty of them could not leave their beds and lay on stretchers in dark corridors. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), wrote on Sunday evening on X that there are four children among the patients and that the most basic medicines are missing. “As of yesterday, there remains one bottle of water per fifteen patients,” said Ghebreyesus. According to him, many patients have heavily infected wounds and suffer from dehydration.

“Eliminate terrorists”

According to the WHO, at least 21 patients have been killed by military violence since the start of the offensive in mid-March, and the lives of many other patients have been put at risk.

The Israeli army denies any responsibility for the damage to the complex – saying it was used as a headquarters by Hamas militants holed up in the hospital. “They fired at us from the hospital complex and refused to surrender. We had to use force to eliminate the terrorists,” said an Israeli army spokesman.

The Israelis call the fourteen days of fighting around the hospital “one of the most successful operations since the start of the war”. They say there were 200 casualties, including two Israeli soldiers, but that the other dead were mainly Hamas fighters. They have also captured 900 people they suspect were fighting for Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The Israelis are said to have brought more than two hundred patients to safety.

Executions and torture?

The Hamas press service speaks of 400 Palestinian deaths and of summary executions of civilians – including a female doctor and her son, also a doctor. According to Hamas, the tumuli were made of earth to hide corpses. There is no reliable confirmation for this.

Yet a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent, the local branch of the Red Cross, also said on Al Jazeera: “The situation is dramatic. Doctors and nurses worked for weeks without medicine, water or food, while the hospital was under siege. Many of them were killed, some tortured, others captured.”

According to a spokesperson for the Palestinian Civil Protection, bodies are also scattered everywhere near the hospital. Not only parts of the hospital would have collapsed, but also adjacent buildings. There are still victims under the rubble.

Largest protest against ‘Bibi’ since October 7

Hundreds of small silver tents have been covering the sidewalk in the block surrounding the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem, since Sunday evening. They are sleeping places for demonstrators who want to demonstrate for four days against the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The protest began Saturday in Tel Aviv, followed by four days in Jerusalem, and is the fiercest resistance against Netanyahu since the terror attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

Before that there was also a lot of protest, especially because of the plans to subordinate the judicial power to the government, but the demonstrations subsided as a result of the dismay and patriotism that arose from the attack.

“We held back for six months,” Michal Begin, a Jerusalem doctor, told The New York Times. “For a while there was the idea that we had to pull together given the circumstances. But now that many soldiers are returning from Gaza, that urgency is gone and we can once again say what it is like: that this government is undesirable.”

Many demonstrators not only call Netanyahu corrupt, but also accuse him of putting his personal interests ahead of those of the nation and those of the Hamas hostages. They therefore demand new elections.

Netanyahu responded that elections would paralyze the country for six months, and that that is not possible in times of war. (sdf

Al Jazeera banned

So there are widely differing versions of the truth circulating. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to gain more control over the narrative. At his request, the Knesset approved a law on Monday evening allowing his government to ban the broadcasts of the news channel Al Jazeera and close the offices of the Qatari news channel. That happened immediately. Netanyahu has long said that Al Jazeera is a “Hamas propaganda channel.” Al Jazeera denies this and says that Israel systematically targets its reporters.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Israeli army kill medical staff AlShifa Hospital


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