The UN and humanitarian agencies expressed concern following an Israeli forces operation at Gaza’s largest hospital, urging protection for numerous patients and civilians. This occurred after the Israeli military stated that they were targeting a Hamas command center located in tunnels beneath Al-Shifa hospital, where many individuals sought refuge from intense combat.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed deep concern over the reports of a military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital. He cautioned that the UN health agency had lost contact with health personnel at the hospital on platform X.
Reports of military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital are deeply concerning.
We’ve lost touch again with health personnel at the hospital.
We’re extremely worried for their and their patients’ safety.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 15, 2023
On Wednesday morning, the UN approximated that a minimum of 2,300 individuals, encompassing patients, staff, and displaced civilians, were inside Al-Shifa Hospital and might face challenges evacuating due to intense ongoing conflicts.
Israel asserted that it was targeting what they allege is a Hamas command center located in tunnels beneath the hospital, where thousands of patients and civilians sought refuge from intense combat. However, both Hamas and the hospital’s doctors have consistently refuted this claim.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that it is in communication with relevant authorities and is closely monitoring the situation.
Israel has been conducting relentless attacks on the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million people, following its pledge to crush Hamas after the October 7 incursion into southern Israel.
According to Gaza’s health ministry, the subsequent Israeli air and ground offensive has resulted in the deaths of 11,320 people, including numerous children. Al-Shifa Hospital is a significant target in Israel’s campaign, with witnesses describing dire conditions, including medical procedures without anesthesia, families living in corridors with minimal supplies, and the pervasive stench of decomposing corpses.