Israel Pushes Back on ‘Misinformation’ on Fighting near Gaza Hospitals, Hamas HQ

Israel Pushes Back on ‘Misinformation’ on Fighting near Gaza Hospitals, Hamas HQ

Israel pushed back on what it called “misinformation” about fighting near hospitals in Gaza such as Shifa Hospital, where Hamas has established its headquarters, saying that it was not targeting hospitals and was helping patients and personnel to evacuate.

It has been undisputed fact for more than a decade that Hamas uses the hospital site for its underground headquarters, and also as a facility to to torture and kill political dissidents. The IDF also presented evidence of Hamas tunnels underneath other hospitals, and Hamas rocket launches near hospital facilities.

On Thursday, the IDF announced that it had begun a combined air and ground assault on the “military quarter of the Hamas terrorist organization in the heart of Gaza City, near the Shifa hospital.”

Since then, accusations have been made in international media that Israel is targeting Shifa Hospital or causing deaths there, including the deaths of babies. The IDF has pushed back, arguing that Shifa was hit by an errant Palestinian projectile — just as an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket had hit the parking lot of the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City earlier in the war.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari appeared on Israeli television Saturday to explain, in Hebrew and in English, that there was no threat to Shifa Hospital, and that Israel was facilitating evacuations on the east side of the building, despite fighting to the west.

Separately, the IDF director of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) delivered a message in Arabic, saying that anyone who wanted to leave the hospital was able to do so, and that the hospital was not under “siege.”

The IDF also said Saturday that it had helped evacuate other hospitals elsewhere in the Gaza Strip:

Following the repeated calls for the residents of Gaza City to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip for their safety, due to the military activity in the area, the IDF enabled the evacuation of the Rantisi and Nasser hospitals.

IDF troops opened and secured an evacuation route yesterday (Friday), along which civilians can go on foot and in ambulances. During the IDF activity to secure the corridor, armed terrorists approached the troops, and fired RPGs toward them. IDF troops struck the terrorists.

The terrorist organization Hamas operates terrorist networks in civilian buildings while cynically exploiting them, including the Rantisi hospital.

Separately, the IDF announced that it had launched an airstrike that killed Ahmed Siam, a Hamas terrorist who had held about 1,000 Palestinians hostage at Rantisi Hospital and had prevented them from evacuating the area.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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