Israel-Gaza conflict: US claims Hamas is running command-and-control centre under Al-Shifa Hospital

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 15 Nov 2023, 12:57 am Print

Israel-Gaza conflict: US claims Hamas is running command-and-control centre under Al-Shifa Hospital

A man injured in a missile attack is rushed for treatment in Naser hospital in Khan Younis. Photo Courtesy: WHO

The United States has said it has intelligence information to believe that Hamas members run a command-and-control centre under the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters: "Hamas and the Palestinian — Palestinian Islamic Jihad — PIJ — members operate a command-and-control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City."

"They have stored weapons there, and they’re prepared to respond to an Israeli military operation against that facility," Kirby said.

The Israel Defence Forces on Wednesday (November 15, 2023) said its troops are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas members in a specified area in the Al-Shifa Hospital.

In a statement posted on X, IDF said: "The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our hostages. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza."

Kirby said hospitals and patients must be protected.

"Now, to be clear, we do not support striking a hospital from the air, and we do not want to see a firefight in the hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people are simply trying to get the medical care that they deserve — not to be caught in a crossfire.  Hospitals and patients must be protected," he said.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden spoke with Israel PM Benjamin Netanyhu on Tuesday (November 15, 2023)

"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke this afternoon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel regarding the latest developments in Israel and Gaza," White House said in a statement.

"The President and the Prime Minister discussed at length ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, including many children and a number of Americans," reads the statement.

UN health agency WHO hailed on Tuesday the “heroic efforts” of staff at Gaza City’s besieged Al-Shifa hospital and expressed concern for hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the enclave where heavy rainfall has caused flooding and aggravated the already dire health crisis. In a statement issued later in the day, the UN Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA) chief said that fuel stocks were now exhausted, bringing the aid operation to a halt on the Egyptian border.

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was "deeply disturbed by the horrible situation and dramatic loss of life" reported in Gaza's medical facilities.

"In the name of humanity, the Secretary-General calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire", the statement reiterated.