The White House denied Wednesday giving Israel a green light to carry out its raid of the besieged Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, maintaining Tel Aviv acted of its own accord.
“We did not give an okay to their military operations around the hospital,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. “These are Israeli military operations that they plan, and they execute on in accordance with their own established procedures. The United States is not is not involved in those procedures.”
Israel stormed Al-Shifa just hours after the White House alleged it had independent intelligence indicating Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are operating a “command and control node” under the hospital where weapons are also being stored.
Hamas denied the allegations, saying, they “represent an American green light for the (Israeli) occupation to commit more brutal massacres against hospitals, to destroy the health sector and pressure our people to displace them from their land.”
“We renew our call to the United Nations to form an international committee to tour and inspect all hospitals to determine the falsehood of the narrative of the occupation and its ally Washington, which bears direct responsibility for the genocidal war in the Gaza Strip,” it said.
During its early morning raid, Israel carried out multiple explosions in the basements of several buildings in the Al-Shifa Hospital complex, a medical source at the facility told Anadolu on condition of anonymity.
The source said the Israeli military blindfolded and detained a number of people from inside the hospital after stripping them naked and took them to an unknown location.
Mohammed Zaqout, the head of Gaza Hospitals, said at a news conference expelled children, patients and their companions from Al-Shifa, forcing them to flee on foot. Still, some 650 patients remain in the hospital, including 22 who are in intensive care, and 36 premature babies, Zaqout said.
An additional 400 health care workers and 2,000 internally displaced people remain there as well, he added.
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip entered its 40th day, at least 11,320 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 7,800 women and children, and over 29,200 have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave since last month.
Source : aa