"Hospitals Must Be Protected": Biden as Israeli Tanks Encircle Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

Doctors at hospitals reject evacuation orders citing patients' safety.

President Joe Biden has issued a call for the protection of hospitals, emphasizing the critical need to safeguard health facilities as Israeli tanks have reportedly positioned themselves outside Gaza City's primary medical center, Al-Shifa hospital.

The Israeli military claimed that the hospital is situated above tunnels housing a headquarters for Hamas fighters, allegedly using patients as shields. In response, doctors at Al-Shifa hospital have refused a mandatory evacuation order from the Israeli Defense Forces, expressing concerns that the transfer of the 700 patients could put their lives at risk.

Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden says, " Hospitals Must Be protected", as Israeli tanks encircle Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

Contrary to Israeli claims, Hamas denied using patients as shields. Amid the assault, medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital reported the death of three newborns and expressed concerns about the well-being of many others due to power outages resulting from the Israeli blockade and bombardment.

Hospitals Must Be Protected: Biden

President Biden, addressing the situation for the first time since the weekend's events, emphasized the critical need to protect hospitals. Speaking from the White House on Monday, he stated, "My hope and expectation is that there will be less intrusive action relative to hospitals, and we remain in contact with the Israelis." Biden also mentioned ongoing negotiations with the Qataris over a pause to address the release of prisoners.

US National Security Adviser Stresses Priorities

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoes Biden's sentiments, emphasizing the US priority to secure the release of hostages and provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. "This remains a paramount priority for us," Sullivan stated, underscoring the relentless efforts to support hostage rescue and reunification with their families.

al-shifa hospital gaza
Al-shifa hospital in Gaza

He further noted the US leadership in increasing the flow of life-saving humanitarian assistance, including food, water, and medicine, into Gaza.

Al-Shifa Doctors Reject Evacuation Order

In northern Gaza, doctors at Al-Shifa hospital reject the Israeli forces' mandatory evacuation order, citing potential risks to the 700 patients. Dr. Al-Bursh, a spokesperson for the medical staff, emphasizes the gravity of the situation: "The problem is not the doctors; it's the patients." He raised concerns about the lack of coordination with international humanitarian agencies, such as the International Red Cross, questioning the safety and feasibility of transferring critically ill patients.