Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

Troops Enter Gaza Hospital, US Frustration Builds

The European Union is moving to speed up efforts to help Egypt

Wednesday 15/November/2023 - 07:45 PM
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Israel’s military continued to go after Hamas in Gaza، even after criticism of its raid on a key hospital، and launched a strike on a Hezbollah post in Lebanon.

The United Nations and Jordan joined others in condemning Israeli troops for storming Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital، with Jordan’s foreign ministry saying it was in violation of human rights laws. Israel said the raid at the hospital was a “precise and targeted operation” and won’t mark an end to the campaign against Hamas، designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union. 

The EU is moving to hasten efforts to help Egypt address the fallout from the crisis amid increased refugee flows into the north African country. 

Efforts to support Egypt's economy

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen plans to visit Cairo soon to advance efforts to support Egypt’s economic development and cushion the impact of the ongoing crisis، people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.

The EU، already exploring a partnership، wants to accelerate the push given Cairo’s significance and concerns about increasing refugee flows. In addition، the EU will propose an investment plan that would aim to mobilize €9 billion ($9.8 billion) in sectors such as digital، energy، agriculture and transport.

The Israeli military said its tanks struck a Hezbollah observation post in Lebanon and reported multiple launches from its northern neighbor. Earlier، Iran-backed Hezbollah said it fired missiles at Israeli barracks and attacked another site، the militant’s group Al-Manar TV reported. The Israeli army reported no injuries from the launches.

UNRWA received around 23،000 liters of fuel from Egypt، or what amounts to half a tanker، its affairs director in Gaza، Thomas White، said in a post on social media platform X. 

“This is only 9% of what we need daily to sustain lifesaving activities،” he said.

Israel has restricted fuel supplies to Gaza since the war began، saying they’ll be used by Hamas for military activities.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel “a terrorist state” in a speech addressing members of the ruling AK Party in Ankara.

“Hamas is a political party that entered and won elections in Palestine and you seized its rights after it won the election،” he said “Who did? Again Israel، together with the US.”

Data centers shutting down

Data centers in the Gaza Strip are gradually shutting down because of a lack of fuel، according to Paltel، the main telecom provider in the territory. They are now relying on batteries، which “will lead a complete telecom blackout in coming hours،” Paltel said in a post on X.

Humanitarian organization Mercy Corps said it’s concerned about losing contact with nearly 70 staff and their families inside Gaza soon.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Gaza with the UN’s head of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief، Martin Griffiths، the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Amirabdollahian is also scheduled to meet Red Cross officials.

“Hospitals are not battlegrounds،” Martin Griffiths says in a post on X، in reaction to Israel’s military raid.

Jordan’s foreign ministry condemned Israeli forces “storming” Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza and called it a “violation of international humanitarian law،” state-run agency Petra reported. The ministry said they will hold Israel accountable for the safety of civilians and medical workers at the hospital، according to the report. 

Entry into Gaza’s Shifa hospital compound by Israeli troops will not mark an end to military operations against Hamas، with many difficult days still to come in the conflict، an Israeli government spokesperson said.

Eylon Levy told Bloomberg Radio in an interview on Wednesday that Israeli troops had entered the hospital and begun to deliver medical aid، including incubators for dozens of premature babies in need of urgent care. US intelligence has backed Israeli claims that Hamas is operating from the hospital.

“It would be a very serious blow to Hamas،” Levy said. “But it’s not the end and we know that the days ahead are going to be long and they are going to be difficult.”

The Israeli military said that it is bringing in incubators، baby food and other medical supplies into Shifa. Medical teams and Arabic-speaking soldiers are also on the ground to ensure those who need the supplies receive them، the military said in a statement.

40 patients died

After UNRWA said its trucks ran out of fuel and the US administration requested the situation be rectified، Israel’s military agreed the vehicles could be refueled at the Rafah crossing، COGAT said in a post on social media platform X. 

Israel is coordinating with relevant authorities، the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories said.

The UN said 40 patients died in Shifa hospital on Nov. 14، according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza، before Israel said it had entered the hospital compound. The causes of death were not given by the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in its flash update. 

Only one hospital in northern Gaza is reportedly still operational at a minimum level، the UN said، after the World Health Organization warned that requiring the evacuation of medical facilities in the north could be a “death sentence” for some patients، since there is nowhere for them to be taken. 

“Hospitals and medical personnel are specifically protected under international humanitarian law and all parties to the conflict must ensure their protection،” the UN said.