The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has intensified, lasting for more than a month now. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have targeted 4,300 locations in an effort to eliminate Hamas fighters following the October 7 attack.
Israeli forces have targeted “Al-Shifa” which is Gaza’s largest hospital. They are alleging that Hamas has constructed bunkers underneath and operate from within. World leaders, including the United States, have condemned the bombing of hospitals, urging Israel to avoid civilian casualties.
Recent reports from Reuters state that Israeli forces have reached the gates of Gaza City’s main hospital which is a primary target in their mission to control the northern half of the Gaza Strip. Doctors within the area claim that the patients, along with newborns, are dying due to a lack of fuel.
Israel justifies its relentless bombing, citing self-defense and the need to eliminate threats from Hamas. However, this campaign has resulted in an unexpected death toll, with over 11,100 civilian casualties, including deaths, injuries, and missing individuals, over the course of 39 days.
Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati described the dire situation, stating, “We are besieged and are inside a circle of death.”
The destruction of Hamas’s governance in Gaza is a stated objective of Israel’s offensive. Professor Kobi Michael from Tel Aviv’s Institute of National Security Studies emphasized the requirement to dismantle elements preventing Hamas from posing a military or governmental threat in the future.
Al Shifa hospital has got the strategic importance because of its location in Gaza City, where Hamas has administrative infrastructure. The hospital complex houses 650 patients, 500 healthcare workers, and around 2,500 displaced people.
Israel claims that they do not target medical facilities, but according to the reports, Al-Shifa has run out of electricity. Israeli President Isaac Herzog denies striking the hospital, stating that “everything is operating.”
In the face of increasing casualties in Gaza, the military campaign, initially seen as a failure, has evolved into a relatively powerful effort. However, the situation is turning into a diplomatic disaster for Israel.
Historically, international pressure has influenced Israeli military decisions. In the past, pressure led to ceasefires, and diplomatic interventions altered military strategies. The current Israeli government shows several signs of making concessions to international appeals.