The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza was the target of an Israeli attack. Photo/Reuters
GAZA – Israeli tanks are approaching Palestinian hospitals, including the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza. Doctors and medical staff were warned that they had to leave – with or without patients in need. Artillery attacks followed, although thousands of people were still inside.
Last Monday, it was the turn of the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia, Gaza. At least 12 people were killed in Israeli attacks on the facility, even as armored vehicles moved closer to the hospital.
But it is just the latest medical center to face the wrath of the Israeli army.
Six weeks into the war in Gaza, Israeli attacks on hospitals have almost become a motif of the conflict, although refugee camps, schools and churches have not been spared. At least 21 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals – including the territory’s cancer center – are not functioning at all, and others are damaged and lacking essential medicines and supplies.
On Sunday, 31 premature babies were evacuated from al-Shifa Hospital to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after weeks of being fed formula milk mixed with contaminated water, without incubators shutting down due to lack of fuel due to Israel’s near-complete siege of the area. the enclave since the October 7 Hamas attack. At least eight babies have died.
Israeli troops have actually occupied al-Shifa since last week after bombarding several parts of the hospital. Like other hospitals in Gaza, al-Shifa shelters thousands of civilians displaced by Israeli bombardment, in addition to patients and medical personnel.
On Friday, the Israeli military expanded its approach in Gaza into the occupied West Bank, where armored vehicles surrounded at least four hospitals. Ibnu Sina Hospital, one of the largest in the West Bank, was raided. And in early November, Israeli forces arrested several patients and their staff from a hospital in East Jerusalem.
But why is Israel targeting the Indonesian Hospital considering that this has also attracted significant criticism from leading human rights organizations, which accuse Israel of committing war crimes?
1. Targeting Hamas Facilities
Officially, Israel insists that it targets facilities housing Hamas fighters or infrastructure.
Israel claims Hamas uses al-Shifa as a command center, for example. However, Hamas denied these claims, and several days after taking over the facilities, Israel was unable to provide solid evidence to support its claims.
2. One Form of Psychological Warfare