A look at the top developments from Israel’s war on Gaza:
- The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday stormed the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city, saying it is carrying out “a precise and targeted operation against [militant group] Hamas in a specified area” of the medical complex. Al-Shifa is the largest hospital in Gaza.
- The military operation spread panic among those sheltered in the Al-Shifa hospital, Al Jazeera quoted a doctor at the facility as saying. Around 650 patients and between 5,000 to 7,000 refugees are trapped inside the complex, Hamas said on Tuesday. Staff had been forced to bury 179 bodies in a “mass grave” in the hospital’s courtyard after the Israeli forces encircled the complex, the hospital’s Director Mohammad Abu Salmiya told news agency AFP on Tuesday. Seven babies and 29 intensive care patients have died since the hospital stopped taking in new patients.
- The United States on Tuesday said that it has gathered intelligence that supports Israel’s claims of hospitals in Gaza and tunnel networks under them being used as a cover for military operations by Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad, a paramilitary group. Hamas has denied the allegations.
- United States President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday discussed measures to secure the release of over 200 hostages held by Hamas. The captives include children and United States citizens. A press release from the White House did not mention whether the two leaders discussed the situation at the Al-Shifa hospital. However, United States National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said, “We do not support striking a hospital from the air and we don’t want to see a firefight in a hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people trying to get medical care they deserve are caught in the crossfire.”
- At least 11,320 Palestinians, including 4,650 children and 3,145 women, had been killed in the Israeli offensive in Gaza till Tuesday.
- The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that 22 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza are non-functional due to the lack of fuel and damage. “The 14 hospitals remaining open have barely enough supplies to sustain critical and life-saving surgeries and provide inpatient care, including intensive care,” it added.
- The United Nations Security Council has made a fifth attempt at reaching a resolution on Israel’s attack on Gaza. The Associated Press reported that questions remain over the resolution’s final wording, which does not mention a ceasefire but calls for “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to reach the besieged region. Differences between member nations Russia and China, who support a ceasefire, and Israel’s ally, the United States, thwarted consensus in previous attempts.