Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had offered fuel to Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, which suspended operations after running out of fuel, but that the terrorists had refused to receive it.
Netanyahu was asked by NBC News whether Israeli allegations that Hamas had a command post under Gaza’s main hospital justified jeopardizing the lives of sick people and babies.
“On the contrary, we offered actually, last night, to give them enough fuel to operate the hospital, operate the incubators and so on, because we (have) no battle with patients or civilians at all,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s military said it was ready to evacuate babies from Al Shifa on Sunday, but Palestinian officials said people inside were still trapped, with three newborns dead and dozens at risk from a power outage. Fighting is raging nearby.
Netanyahu was asked if Israel has a plan to get fuel into Gaza to power hospitals. “We just offered Shifa hospital the fuel, they refused it,” Netanyahu said.
“Hamas, (which) is hiding in the hospitals and placing itself there, doesn’t want the fuel for the hospital … they want to get fuel that they’ll take from the hospitals to their tunnels, to their war machine.”
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.
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Shots Fired at Jewish School in Canada Again, Amid Tensions Over Overseas Conflict
A Jewish school in Montreal was hit by gunfire early on Sunday, making it the third time in less than a week that a Jewish school in the Canadian city was hit amid heightened tensions over the conflict between Israel and Gaza, police said, according to local media.
No one was injured but the facade of Yeshiva Gedola of Montreal was struck. Bullet impact marks and bullet shells were found after residents heard gunfire early on Sunday, CBC News in Canada reported.
At the two other schools in Montreal, both reported finding a bullet hole in their front doors Thursday morning, local media reported.
It was unclear if the incidents at Jewish schools in the city’s west end were related.
But on Wednesday, a violent altercation at Concordia University between people aligned with opposing sides of the conflict in Israel and Gaza resulted in injuries and an arrest, according to CBC News.
Mayer Feig, a member of the Council of Hasidic Jews of Quebec, says shooting at schools is meant to intimidate the Jewish population in the city, the news agency reported earlier.
In Toronto, police have reported hate crimes against Jews and Muslims had more than doubled the tally for all of 2022 in the three weeks after the initial Hamas attack on Oct. 7.
Israel says the attack by the Palestinian terror group Hamas killed an estimated 1,400 people and more than 240 were taken hostage.
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Israel Says Palestinian Authority in Current Form Should not Run Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thrown up more doubts about the future of the Gaza Strip, saying that the Palestinian Authority in its current form should not take charge of the coastal enclave.
Israel has vowed to destroy Palestinian group Hamas, which governs Gaza, after its shock Oct. 7 cross-border assault and has launched a full-scale invasion of the territory.
However, it has not spelt out who should rule the enclave once the conflict is over, saying only that Israel would maintain overall security.
Washington has said Israel cannot occupy the enclave after the war, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week saying that the Gaza administration had to be re-unified with the nearby West Bank, parts of which are run by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday said that the PA could play a future role in governing the Gaza Strip, but Netanyahu indicated late Saturday that he did not want the current PA rulers to be given free rein in Gaza.
At a news conference, Netanyahu aired his long-standing grievances over the PA’s school syllabus, which he says fuels hatred of Israel, and its policy of giving salaries to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.
Such an organization should not take charge of Gaza, he told reporters.
Speaking to NBC News on Sunday, he was even more emphatic.
“We need a different authority. We need a different administration,” Netanyahu said. Asked what sort of body that would be, he replied: “I think it’s too early to say.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for Abbas, told Reuters the Israelis were seeking to perpetuate divisions between the two Palestinian territories — the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.
“Israeli attempts to separate Gaza from the West Bank will fail, and it will not be allowed, regardless of the pressures,” he told Reuters.
The PA used to run both the West Bank and Gaza but was ousted from the latter in 2007 after a brief civil war with Hamas.
While Western governments want to involve the PA in the future of Gaza, diplomats say, there is also concern that 87-year-old Abbas does not have sufficient authority or support of his people to take charge.
“Right now, there is no clear idea of what might happen in Gaza once the fighting stopped,” a Jerusalem-based diplomat said.
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Pro-Israel rallies calling for the release of hostages become more public—while hate crime incidents and arrests surge across Canada
A recap of demonstrations and installations, and the reaction to protests.