Israel attacked Al-Shifa after 'failure to convince Gaza tribes to form security teams': Hamas official

Israel attacked Al-Shifa after 'failure to convince Gaza tribes to form security teams': Hamas official
A Hamas official said that Israel is attacking the Al-Shifa medical complex after it couldn't reach an agreement with local tribes to form security teams.
3 min read
30 March, 2024
The Al-Shifa Medical Complex has been under attack by Israel since March 18 [Getty/file photo]

Israel's sustained attack on  Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex, which began on March 18 and has killed scores of people, started due to a "failure to negotiate" with local tribes over the formation of security teams which would be under Israeli supervision, a senior Hamas official said.

Israeli forces wanted to form teams from local tribes to administer the area and provide services, but failed to do so. 

Instead, Gaza's Hamas-led government began to provide services in the area, and this led Israeli forces to attack the medical complex, killing scores of people and detaining hundreds.

Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas official, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the  Israeli army attacked Al-Shifa after it was surprised by "the emergence of complete administrative structures and the almost regular return of several administrations, responsible for citizens."

Naim also said that Hamas has taken part in consultations with concerning the withdrawal of Israeli forces with mediators from Qatar, Egypt and Turkey. These talks focused on the return of the work of official civil agencies, as well as the delivery of aid to the north of the enclave, where a famine is imminent.

Naim stressed that Hamas will "continue resistance and steadfastness", and that they have "no choice to retreat, surrender, or break".

"Our situation on the ground is strong and cohesive, and our people are still adhering to their right to a dignified life, freedom, return and independence."

He said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is concerned with prolonging this war personally and is implicating other parties, especially the US, in the region."

"Netanyahu, the army and security forces are motivated by a sense of failure and fear of the next day of accountability, in addition to the desire for revenge," he said.

The Israeli premier is widely believed to be continuing Israeli’s war in Gaza in a bid to salvage his reputation and ensure political survival – as well as keep any new Israeli elections at bay.

Mukhaymar Abu Saada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, said in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that "it is clear that the policy of Israel and Netanyahu is based on not making any real concessions to the Palestinians, including the release of Palestinian prisoners and the delivery aid to north Gaza."

Netanyahu is also facing corruption charges, and this is also believed to be a key motivator for the continuation of the war.

Mossad chief David Barnea has accused Netanyahu of obstructing a deal with Hamas that would see the release of 40 hostages and the return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza, according to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12.

The proposal was reportedly backed by war cabinet ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, but Netanyahu rejected the idea, seeking to launch an offensive against Rafah in the Gaza Strip, where nearly all of Gaza's inhabitants have been displaced to.

Netanyahu reportedly said that Barnea "doesn’t know how to conduct serious negotiations" according to the Israeli website . The Israeli premier reportedly handed over negotiations to the political and security affairs cabinet, as they "would show greater opposition and less flexibility towards a deal with Hamas", Ynet reported.

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Israel has been indiscriminately attacking the Gaza Strip since October 7 of last year, targeting residential buildings, hospitals and refugee camps in what has been described by rights groups as war crimes and a genocide.

Over 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children. The death toll is likely to be much higher and is being exacerbated by the spread of disease and lack of food, water and other necessities.