The largest hospital in Gaza was overrun by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Wednesday 15, with US President Joe Biden resting his full support behind the incursion. Biden claims that Hamas committed the first war crime, by making the hospital a command centre of its military operations, the Hill reports. President Biden declined to provide any detail to the evidence or intelligence that he had but he said that he was absolutely confident that what U.S. and Israeli officials have described as a command centre around and underneath the hospital was true.
The IDF, on Wednesday 15, published photos and videos from inside the hospital in the Gaza Strip. The images purported to show numerous weapons caches hidden behind an MRI machine, in the closets of hallways and in rooms in the hospital, reports The Hill. On the IDF X, formerly Twitter, page, a post said, “A precise and targeted operation is being carried out against Hamas in a very specific area of the Shifa Hospital. We have soldiers trained specifically for this situation and continue to reiterate we are ONLY at war with Hamas. We continue to do everything in our power to mitigate the risk to civilians.” Israel had reported that whilst breaching the medical facility they had battled and killed Hamas fighters, but that it was also bringing medical experts, Arabic speakers, as well as medical supplies including incubators and baby food.
Biden commented in a press conference following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco, California, “You have a circumstance where the first war crime is being committed by Hamas by having their headquarters, their military, hidden under a hospital. And that’s a fact, that’s what’s happened,” The Hill reports. Tensions erupted on October 7 when Hamas militant group launched an offensive into Israel on October 7, with a retaliatory ground invasion by Israel pursuing. “You have a circumstance where, you know, there is a fair number of Hamas terrorists. Hamas has already said publicly that they plan on attacking Israel again, like they did before, cutting babies heads off to burning women and children alive,” the president of the United States said, detailing some of the alleged gruesome atrocities that allegedly Hamas committed during the October 7 attack against Israel.
“Israel did not go in with large number of troops, did not raid and did not rush anyone down,” the president said, citing discussions he’s had with his national security team of how the events unfolded, The Hill reported. The humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip is wearing down Americans’ support for Biden’s position. But the U.S. has held back calling for Israel to agree to a ceasefire, in particular as negotiations for hostages continue. The president further said he’s “mildly hopeful” that negotiations to free the estimated 240 hostages being held by Hamas will yield results. Biden has continued to push for tactical humanitarian pauses that will allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and the exit of foreign nationals, and the potential safe transfer of hostages. Still, the U.S. on Wednesday abstained from a United Nations Security Council Resolution that called for a humanitarian ceasefire, opposing that the measure did not condemn Hamas.
“With regards to when is this going to stop? I think it’s going to stop when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder and abuse and, and just do horrific things to the Israelis,” Biden said, reports The Hill. “They plan on doing the same thing again, what they did on the 7th. They’re going to go in, they want to slaughter Israelis. They want to do it again.” Biden has given no end timeline for Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians were killed during the assault, whilst more than one million were told to evacuate from the zone of conflict.