Israeli doctors call for bombing of Al-Shifa, one of Gaza's last working hospitals

Israeli doctors call for bombing of Al-Shifa, one of Gaza's last working hospitals
Israeli doctors have jointly called on their army to strike Gaza's largest hospital, claiming it is being used as a base for Hamas fighters.
3 min read
06 November, 2023
An ambulance outside Al-Shifa hospital was struck by Israel on 3 November [Getty]

A group of 100 Israeli doctors have called for the targeting of the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, claiming that Hamas fighters were using the civilian facility as a base.

The medical professionals – who go by the name Doctors for the Rights of Israeli Soldiers – collectively called on the Israeli army to bomb Al-Shifa Medical Complex in war-battered Gaza, calling it a "legitimate right", according to Israeli news site HaMedash.

Israel has repeatedly claimed civilian infrastructure targeted by its forces is being used by Hamas fighters, without any real proof provided.

"Bomb the terror nests and Hamas headquarters in the hospitals in Gaza. A place that is a home for terrorism is not a hospital protected from war," the doctors’ joint statement said, according to HaMedash.

"Those who confuse hospitals and terrorism must understand that hospitals are not a safe place for them - terrorism must be eliminated everywhere and in any way."

On Sunday, top Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed to have evidence showing Hamas had a base used for its operations underneath Al-Shifa hospital.

This has raised fears that Israel will target the medical facility, currently one of the last places in northern Gaza providing treatment to the injured and being used as a shelter by thousands of Palestinian civilians.

At least 13 people were killed when Israeli jets struck an ambulance carrying wounded patients in front of the hospital on Friday.

Several hospitals have already been warned to evacuate or their surroundings bombed since the start of the Gaza war. At least 16 have completely shut down due to a lack of fuel.

On 17 October, a massacre at the Baptist hospital – or Al-Ahli hospital – in Gaza City saw over 400 people killed.

Israel refused to take responsibility for that strike, claiming it was caused by a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, although evidence presented by Israel has since been largely disproven.

Since 7 October, Israel has relentlessly pounded the besieged Gaza Strip, with over 10,000 people confirmed killed, including some 4,000 children. Among them are 192 health workers, Gaza's health ministry said Monday.

Israel has said its bombardment was in retaliation to Hamas' surprise attack on southern Israel which killed 1,400 Israelis and saw some 200 people held captive, and has vowed to dismantle the Palestinian group. It follows months of deadly raids in the occupied West Bank.