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13 July, 2024
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Gaza's largest hospital caught in the crossfire

Biden grapples with Israel's hospital strike

Charalambos Stylianou

Israel executed a targeted overnight raid on Gaza's largest medical facility, al Shifa hospital. Israeli forces asserted precision in their operation, aiming squarely at Hamas within a specific area.

As reported by Sky News, the move came on the heels of the U.S. backing Israel's claim that the hospital served as a base for Hamas operations.

However, Hamas vehemently denied these allegations, pointing fingers at President Joe Biden's administration for tacitly approving Israel's actions.

President Biden, despite emphasizing the hospital's need for protection, faced a delicate situation as the White House distanced itself from the airstrikes.

Expressing reluctance to witness a firefight within a medical facility, the administration navigated a fine line.

IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner underscored the military necessity of the operation, citing Israeli and U.S. intelligence. He hinted at the potential rescue of hostages taken during a previous Hamas attack.

Accusations against al Shifa have been a consistent narrative from Israel, warning about potential loss of protection under international humanitarian law if the hospital harbors fighters or weapons.

President Biden called for the hospital's safeguard, expecting less intrusive actions.

However, White House national security council spokesperson John Kirby later revealed U.S. intelligence indicating Hamas's presence at al Shifa.

Hamas vehemently rejected these claims, but the IDF proceeded with its targeted operation, having warned Gaza authorities about the military use of the hospital.

They insisted that all military activities within must cease within 12 hours.

The situation escalated with reports of a humanitarian crisis at the hospital, surrounded by Israeli troops.

Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry reported casualties, including infants, as the hospital's emergency generator ran out of fuel.

Israel's military responded by announcing efforts to bring incubators into Gaza, though details and power supply remained unclear, according to the Sky News report.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, the conflict since Israel's retaliatory strikes on October 7 has claimed at least 11,255 Palestinian lives, intensifying tensions in the region.

As the region grapples with the fallout of these developments, the international community watches closely, urging a resolution to the escalating tensions and a swift end to the humanitarian crisis at al Shifa hospital.

The clash of claims and controversy surrounding this targeted operation adds another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation in the Middle East.

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