Israeli Military says Al-Shifa management notified before soldiers entered compound, calls on Hamas operatives inside to surrender; Israeli forces include medical teams, Arabic speakers
The military says Israeli troops are fighting against Hamas “in a certain part” of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, where the terror group is accused of maintaining a command center.
“The operation is based on intelligence information and operational need,” says a statement from the Israel Defense Forces. “The operation is not meant to harm patients, medical staff or citizens in the hospital.”
“The operation was preceded by an effort to evacuate the hospital of patients and those taking refuge, and a special corridor was even opened,” the statement continues, adding that Shifa management was alerted before Israeli troops entered the compound.
The military also says “later during the operation, incubators, medical equipment and baby food are expected to be transfered to the hospital.”
The statement comes as the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry claims to Qatari state broadcaster Al Jazeera that it was informed by Israeli forces they will imminently raid Al-Shifa Hospital.
An English language statement from the military describes the operation in Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital as “precise and targeted.”
The statement also says the Israeli forces that entered the medical center “include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields.”
“We call upon all Hamas terrorists present in the hospital to surrender,” says the statement.
The Times of Israel