In the latest development of the Israel-Hamas conflict, the United States has contradicted claims that it approved the Israeli military operation at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated on Wednesday that the US did not endorse any military actions in the vicinity of the hospital.
This denial from Washington coincides with ongoing Israeli forces' search within the hospital, asserting that it functioned as a Hamas operational hub. Israeli troops maintain the discovery of Hamas weapons and combat gear inside the hospital, supported by a released video displaying the recovered items.
Meanwhile, Qatar has taken the initiative in ceasefire efforts, expressing dedication to reaching an agreement that involves releasing around 50 civilian hostages from Gaza and increasing humanitarian aid to the region.
In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, here are the latest developments that have unfolded:
US Denial: National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby emphasized, "We did not give an OK to their military operations around the hospital." Kirby declined to say whether Israel gave the US advance warning of the attack during talks between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.
A previous statement supported Israel's assertion that Al-Shifa Hospital functioned as a large Hamas command center, based on an intelligence assessment.
Israeli Claims: Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief Israeli military spokesperson, announced the discovery of weapons and combat gear belonging to Hamas within the hospital complex. The Israeli army released video evidence to substantiate these claims. He also reiterated that Israeli forces are only at war with Hamas.
While addressing the media, Hagari said, "The troops continue to search the hospital in a precise, intelligence-based, manner. We will continue to do so, in order to gather further information, to discover additional assets, and to expose the terror activities within the hospital."
Israeli forces, having stormed Al-Shifa a day earlier, continued their search within the hospital, asserting that it was being used for military purposes by Hamas. Hospital staff and Hamas deny these allegations.
Ceasefire Efforts: Qatari mediators are reportedly working on a deal between Hamas and Israel for the release of approximately 50 civilian hostages in exchange for a ceasefire, with coordination from the US.
Humanitarian Crisis: The Health Ministry in Gaza reports over 11,200 Palestinian deaths, with women and minors comprising two-thirds of the casualties. Additionally, approximately 2,700 individuals are reported missing since the conflict erupted.
As the situation unfolds, tensions persist, and diplomatic efforts continue in an attempt to bring about a resolution to the ongoing conflict.