Middle East Manhunt: Is Shifa Hospital Really a Hamas Operations Center?

Raid on Gaza’s largest hospital, another communications blackout, Israeli targets in Gaza – Middle East this week.

Attack on Gaza’s largest hospital | Pushing people out of southern Gaza’s ‘safe zones’ | Cutting off from communication with the outside world | What are Israel’s goals in Gaza? | Here’s the Middle East this week:

Death haunts hospital corridors

Gaza is losing its connection to the outside world as telecommunications towers lose power, meaning it becomes increasingly difficult to relay the stories of people trapped inside.

On Wednesday, the unthinkable happened when Israeli forces entered al-Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of patients were being treated and thousands of people were seeking shelter.

Many people had already watched in horror as al-Shifa watched one premature baby after another die in Gaza’s largest hospital from starvation for the fuel needed to power generators.

The lack of electricity – not to mention medicines – also means that cancer patients face terrifying prospects.

As do people on regular dialysis and babies in incubators in other hospitals who need help breathing and developing.

Israel says it is okay to attack hospitals because it is actually attacking “Hamas agents” hiding there. But international law protects hospitals except in very specific cases, of which al-Shifa is not one, so who does Israel make such statements for?

And as the international community finally begins to speak out more forcefully about Israel’s targeting of civilians and health care facilities, we pay tribute to the Indonesian medical volunteers who chose to remain with their Palestinian colleagues.

If Gaza were your city…

Do you know how much of this will be destroyed in the Israeli bombing? We have mapped the destruction in Gaza to several international capitals.

[AJ Labs]

How can you understand such enormous pain?

A cheerful girl who took her first steps a few weeks ago was buried alive under tons of rubble when Israel bombed her house in the middle of the night.

Her mother nine months pregnant? Dead, as were her twin fetuses who were struggling to be born when the bomb exploded. Her father was also dead. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins… all dead. Melissa was left with one surviving aunt, a paralyzed body and pain.

A man works at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir el-Balah, and his job for the last 15 years has been to cover the people who died there with a shroud. However, as Abu Saher said with tears in his eyes, these last few years are nothing compared to the level of terrible human mutilation he is currently experiencing.

Finally, here’s a request from a teacher who frantically checks every day to see if any of her fifth-graders have been killed in an Israeli attack.

What does Hezbollah think?

The Lebanese group and its leader Hassan Nasrallah have many expectations to face. Widely seen as the strongest militia in the region, many hoped it would open a broad second front with Israel, including Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon.

However, Nasrallah has a complicated road ahead as he balances domestic pressures against him with Hezbollah’s role as part of the regional “Islamic resistance.”

As one skirmish follows another and Israeli attacks reach deeper into Lebanese territory, the question arises: How long will Hezbollah hold off?

If tunnels are a problem, why not go underground?

Israel has repeatedly said its goal is to clear tunnels under Gaza used by Hamas fighters.

However, fighting continues on the surface and it appears that any victories Israel claims are mainly against groups of unarmed civilians, causing incredible destruction as Israel pulls one weapon after another from its large arsenal.

Our strategic analyst assumes this is likely because Israel knows that entering the tunnels will be a long and dangerous campaign for it.

It also provides a detailed description of how Israel would need to act to actually begin taking over these dreaded tunnels.

While the world looks towards Gaza…

As Israel pummels Gaza, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia appear to have taken the opportunity to step up their bombing of rebel-held areas in the country.

This week, Al-Assad delivered an impassioned speech at the Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyad, condemning violations against civilians in Gaza and drawing much contempt among civilians bombed in Syria.

The United States is also involved in Syria and Iraq, where its soldiers have been attacked and exchanged fire with enemy combatants… Will the situation get worse?


Quote of the week

“We are now working on cases that we have never seen in our medical textbooks.” | Dr. Ayman Harb, head of the orthopedics department at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.


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