Israeli Forces Raid al-Shifa Hospital as Diplomatic Fallout Intensifies
Israeli forces have carried out a raid on al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest medical complex in the strip, where thousands of displaced individuals sought shelter. The raid has caused fear among patients, displaced persons, and health workers within the hospital premises.
Hamas denies accusations of using hospitals, including al-Shifa, as command centres. Instead, the group accuses Israel and the United States of justifying what they label as “brutal massacres” in the region.
The Palestinian death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October has reached 11,300, according to reports. In Israel, the official death toll from Hamas attacks stands at 1,200. The disproportionate casualties raise concerns about the impact of the conflict on civilians.
Ardi Imseis, an international law expert at Queens University in Canada, cited a history of presenting questionable and unverifiable evidence to the international community. Imseis stated that Israel must provide concrete evidence to substantiate its claim that al-Shifa Hospital has been used as a military base by Hamas.
Until such proof is provided, the hospital remains a civilian object, according to Imseis who highlighted the importance of distinguishing between civilian and military targets under international law.
Professor Andreas Krieg from King’s College London also stated that Israel’s claim about the Hamas military base has been in existence for a decade.
In addition to the hospital raid, Israeli forces conducted house raids in various cities in the occupied West Bank. In Jenin city, witnesses reported at least five people being arrested after Israeli forces surrounded homes, demanding occupants to leave before making arrests. Similar house raids and detentions occurred in Tulkarem, Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem, and Beit Daqo northwest of Jerusalem, with individuals detained in various neighbourhoods.
In the meantime, several countries have recalled their diplomats from Israel. Among them are Bahrain, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Jordan and Turkey. Bolivia, Belize and South Africa have completely severed diplomatic ties with Israel.
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