Friday, June 21, 2024

IDF using Al–Shifa Hospital staff as human shields: Gaza Health Ministry

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza on Thursday claimed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are using employees and support staff at the AL-Shaifa Hospital as human shields.

In a statement, the Ministry said that following its raid at the largest hospital in Gaza, the Israeli military had occupied the ground floor of the complex and also destroyed several costly medical equipment, including radiology machines, as well as other devices located in the basement of the specialised surgery building.

It further reiterated that there was no Hamas command centre in the hospital as alleged by the Israeli forces.

The Ministry also questioned the functionality of the hospital while recconnisance aircraft were monitoring the complex.

When the Israeli forces entered the hospital, there was no confrontations, the Ministry said, adding that this was no proof of no Hamas militants being inside the premises.

It went on to allege that the IDF had targeted the coronary care unit of the hospital with a tank shell, adding that rooms where patients were kept had been hit.

The Ministry further said that the Israeli forces had arrested the hospital’s only electric generator mechanic, as well as the only oxygen station technician,

Due to the arrests, Al-Shifa is currently facing serious challenges such as malfunctioning of medical and technical equipment.

On Wednesday,Israeli special forces backed by additional troops conducted the “precise and targeted operation” inside the hospital against Hamas terror infrastructure at the site.

The operation lasted for some 18 hours, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) finding weapons and Hamas assets inside the premises, while it also interrogated people.

At least five Hamas gunmen were killed by troops during a gun battle outside the hospital, according to local media.

The Israeli military has repeatedly alleged that Palestinian armed groups operate a military compound within and underneath the Shifa Hospital.

The hospital’s management and the Ministry of Health in Gaza have strongly denied these allegations and have called for an independent investigation.



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