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Hamas slams ‘shameful’ intl. silence over Israeli raid on Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital

Smoke rises during an Israeli raid at al-Shifa Hospital and the area around it, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, in Gaza City, on March 21, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has denounced the international community over its “shameful silence” on the Israeli military’s raid against Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital where thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

The Gaza-based group said in a statement that the ongoing Israeli aggression against the hospital indicates the international community and the United Nations' “moral failure” who are not capable of pressuring Israel’s traditional ally, the US, to stop sending arms to the occupying regime.

“The shameful silence on the situation of the al-Shifa Hospital Complex [in Gaza City] and those trapped inside represents a disgrace and a moral failure on the part of the international community and the United Nations, ” the statement said.

“They are unable to stop Zionists’ killing machine, and pressure Washington to stop its partnership and support with arms exports to the Nazi-Zionist occupying regime,” it added.

The Israeli military continues to carry out air strikes and artillery shelling in and around the al-Shifa Hospital for the seventh day in a row. Media reports say Palestinians sheltering near al-Shifa Hospital have no food and no water as Israeli bombardment and air raids continue.

Hamas says Israel is striking targets “without regard” to the patients or medical staff inside – what people at the complex also echoed.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing medical sources, reported that Israeli forces are detaining about 240 patients along with their caregivers, in addition to 10 healthcare workers inside the hospital, under harsh conditions without water, food, or health services.

A large number of the wounded are facing dire conditions inside the medical complex and worms have begun to emerge from their wounds, the sources added.

Five Palestinian patients at al-Shifa were reportedly pronounced dead on Saturday.

Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who was trapped in a building near al-Shifa Hospital has told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces raped, kidnapped, and killed women during their ongoing raid on Gaza’s largest hospital.

“They raped women, kidnapped women, executed women, and pulled dead bodies from under the rubble to unleash their dogs on them,” she said.

“Is there anything worse than this? Is there anything more horrifying than hearing women call for help, and when we try to reach them to provide assistance, they shoot at us?”

The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor also reported that the Israeli army is burning homes near al-Shifa Hospital, in some cases while occupants were inside the buildings.

Al-Shifa used to be the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital before the current conflict started. It is now one of the few partially operational healthcare facilities in the north.

Israel first raided al-Shifa last November, arguing that Hamas used it as a command center, what Hamas officials have rejected on several occasions. 

On Monday, the Israeli military claimed that “senior Hamas terrorists” were using the facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” Later that day, Israel said that “terrorist forces” were firing at Israeli troops.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said at the time that about 3,000 people were inside al-Shifa seeking refuge and that those attempting to leave were being targeted by snipers and fire from helicopters.

According to the UN, 155 health facilities in the Gaza Strip have been damaged since the war began.

Since the start of the aggression, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 32,142 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and injured another 74,412 individuals.

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