According to United States National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are using Gaza hospitals to conceal weapons, hold hostages, and potentially fight the IDF from medical facilities. Kirby stated that the groups operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City and have stored weapons there. He stressed the need to protect hospitals and patients, while also acknowledging the challenges Israel faces in dealing with Hamas, which operates within the civilian population.
As the conflict continues, protests have emerged internationally, with reports of patient deaths and the IDF’s campaign to uncover and destroy Hamas installations in hospitals. This has led to foreign backlash, with countries like Belize and Turkey suspending diplomatic ties with Israel. The international community is calling for a ceasefire and the unhindered access of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
The situation at Al-Shifa hospital is particularly dire, with Palestinians trapped inside facing dangerous conditions and a lack of resources. Despite offers from Israel to send portable incubators for babies, evacuation plans have not yet been established. The hospital is reportedly under siege, with patients and staff facing constant fire and difficult conditions.
The United States is working on expanding humanitarian aid into Gaza and discussing possible patient evacuations with humanitarian organizations. Additionally, Britain is advocating for longer humanitarian pauses to deliver aid to the region. Italy has also sent humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Rafah crossing.
The United States and Britain have imposed fresh sanctions on Hamas, targeting the group’s leaders and financiers in an effort to cut off funding for the militant group. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized the importance of denying Hamas the ability to raise and use funds for its activities.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, and the international community is calling for immediate action to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza.