US president Joe Biden has doubled-down in his support for Israel’s destruction of al-Shifa hospital.
He claimed on Wednesday, “The first war crime was being committed by Hamas by having their headquarters, their military, hidden under a hospital.” “That’s a fact,” he said, repeating Israeli propaganda without any proof.
Israeli forces stormed the hospital on Wednesday night, trapping over 600 Palestinian patients, health workers and those sheltering in the buildings.
They drove tanks into the large medical facility, and then used loudspeakers to demand that all men aged 16 to 40 years old come to the courtyard. Soldiers ordered all of them to surrender—and stripped many naked.
The raid comes after days of brutal bombardment and siege of the hospital, with those inside left without food or power.
Outside the complex, Israeli forces have been shooting anyone who moves. Decomposing bodies pile up around the medical facility.
Dr Ahmed El Mokhallalati, who’s inside the hospital, told ITV News on Wednesday that al-Shifa’s services had “totally collapsed”. He added that the hospital was not a place “for a person to survive and it doesn’t meet basic humanitarian needs”.
Israel claimed Hamas had blocked health workers from accessing fuel it had provided for the hospital. But health workers said that, in reality, the Israeli army’s siege on the hospital had made it impossible for them to reach the fuel.
One doctor inside the hospital said on Wednesday, “The diesel fuel that Israel talks about is a very small amount. They placed it in a place far away from the hospital. And no one can go and take it because they shoot at them when someone tries to leave through the eastern gate which they say is a ‘safe exit’.”
A Hamas statement said, “We hold the occupation and president Biden wholly responsible for the assault on al-Shifa medical complex.
“The adoption by the White House and the Pentagon of the occupation’s false claim that the resistance is using al-Shifa medical complex for military ends has given the green light to the occupation to commit more massacres against civilians.”
Israel is not just targeting al-Shifa hospital. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that al-Quds Hospital, the second largest in Gaza, had ceased functioning due to lack of access to fuel on Tuesday.
Israeli forces dropped bombs in the area surrounding Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital on Thursday. Palestinians, who’ve been forced to flee from their homes, have been sheltering in all those hospitals.
It’s all the more urgent to keep mobilising on the streets against Israel—and the Western governments that back it.
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