The Hamas terrorist organization’s use of civilian hospitals as centers for storing military equipment and planning attacks has been revealed as a serious human rights violation as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) close in on Al Shifa, a major hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has long said the hospital was home to the Palestinian terror group’s main base of operations, as well as cover for the coastal enclave’s complex tunnel system and a hideout for fuel, water, food, and other supplies that were being withheld from Gaza’s civilian population.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, has denied this charge — an increasingly untenable position after this weekend, when Israel’s army took control of the areas immediately surrounding the hospital, holding territory just a block away. At the same time, gunfire emerged from the sprawling hospital complex — where battle has been ensuing — exposing it as a center for Hamas fighters.
The European Union on Sunday lambasted Hamas for using hospitals as “human shields,” calling for civilians to be allowed to leave the area of fighting.
“The EU condemns the use of hospitals and civilians as human shields by Hamas,” the EU said in a statement. “Civilians must be allowed to leave the combat zone. These hostilities are severely impacting hospitals and taking a horrific toll on civilians and medical staff.”
The statement went on to demand the immediate release of the roughly 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during their Oct. 7 massacre of southern Israeli communities. The hostages include children and elderly civilians.
Israel has presented an abundance of evidence in recent weeks detailing how Hamas has converted hospitals into operation centers and launchpads for missiles, while shielding the terror group behind the civilians using them.
Al Shifa is not the first hospital in Gaza to be the subject of controversy during the current war.
Last month, a misfired Palestinian rocket from Gaza caused a widely reported explosion near the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, according to intelligence from Israel and several Western governments. Experts agreed that Israel was not responsible, despite Hamas and several media outlets falsely blaming an Israeli air strike for causing the hospital blast.
It is expected that the IDF will take over Al Shifa in the coming days. The Israeli army has already helped to evacuate patients toward southern Gaza, including newborn infants. Much of the hospital staff has also evacuated south, with reports from Gaza saying that the hospital has lost all power and suspended operations after running out of fuel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had offered fuel to Al Shifa, but that the terrorists had refused to receive it. Several press reports, citing Arab and Western officials, have corroborated Israeli claims that Hamas has been hoarding hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel for rockets and electricity used to power its network of underground tunnels as Gaza hospitals struggle to maintain power.
Meanwhile, Israel announced that 200 million NIS (about $52 million) would be directed to completing the fortification of hospitals around the country, where roughly half are now protected from rocket and missile fire.
Troy O. Fritzhand, who goes by Osher in Hebrew, is a Jerusalem-based journalist covering Israeli politics, culture, and technology. An immigrant from New York, Troy is an entrepreneur and Hebrew thinker who helps oversee the start-up ecosystem in Jerusalem with Made in JLM. You can learn more about him at troyfritzhand.com. He previously served as the Politics and Knesset reporter at The Jerusalem Post and has been published in Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).
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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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