IDF Reaches Main Hospital In Gaza

Today, Israeli military units have made significant advances, arriving at the outskirts of Gaza’s primary medical facility. Medical professionals within the hospital paint a grim picture of the current state of affairs: dwindling supplies of essential items such as fuel, food, and medicine are putting hundreds of patients and thousands of shelter-seeking civilians at risk.

The hospital, known as Al-Shifa, is home to scores of unattended bodies, left to decompose due to the lack of resources to either preserve or dispose of them, according to the chief nursing officer. The medical team on site reportedly struggles to maintain the warmth of newborn infants, recently removed from now-defunct incubators.

Officials from Israel and the United States have accused Hamas, the governing authority of the Gaza Strip, of utilizing medical facilities such as Al-Shifa as protective covers for their combatants. They also claim that militants have constructed an extensive underground command center beneath the hospital. These assertions, however, have been categorically denied by both Hamas and the medical practitioners at the hospital.

Israeli forces have reportedly made their way to a minimum of two additional medical facilities in the northern regions of Gaza, escalating their efforts to evacuate these institutions, as per Israeli military sources. This evacuation comes amid the increasing intensity of the conflicts surrounding these hospitals.

Today, President Biden clarified that the hospitals in Gaza “must be protected,” urging a more restrained approach towards these essential medical facilities.

Israel’s reign over Gaza, which culminated in the construction of a significant number of buildings later repurposed as hospitals, ceased in 2005. This departure acted as a catalyst for Hamas to seize control, and by 2007, the group began to establish a command center beneath Al Shifa, according to Israeli insiders.

Initially, Hamas focused on excavating the areas adjacent to the original basements of Al Shifa’s structures. The endeavor expanded over time, burrowing deeper beneath the surface, adding additional levels, and integrating it into the extensive, fortified tunnel network under construction throughout Gaza. Israeli authorities have since identified it as a central hub in an intricate web of underground passageways that permeate the landscape of Gaza.