The International CommissionHashd Condemns Repeated Siege of Al-Shifa Medical Complex deeming it a Flagrant Crime Reflecting the Occupying Forces’ Determination to Commit Further Acts of Genocide

The International CommissionHashd Condemns Repeated Siege of Al-Shifa Medical Complex deeming it a Flagrant Crime Reflecting the Occupying Forces’ Determination to Commit Further Acts of Genocide

ImportantMainPress Release

Date: 24 Mar 2024

Press Release

The International CommissionHashd” Condemns Repeated Siege of Al-Shifa Medical Complex, deeming it a Flagrant Crime Reflecting the Occupying Forces’ Determination to Commit Further Acts of Genocide

The International Commission to Support the Rights of the Palestinian People “Hashd” continues to monitor with grave concern the ongoing crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and its surroundings. Israeli forces persist in attacking and besieging the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza, issuing orders to evacuate internally displaced persons within it, and displacing residents of western Gaza. This relentless assault undermines civilians’ right to access healthcare and aims to depopulate Gaza City as part of the ongoing genocide since October 7th, now spanning 170 consecutive days.

According to documentation by the Coalition, the Israeli military attacked Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the early hours of Monday, March 18th, under the cover of aerial and artillery bombardment, as well as gunfire targeting patients, medical staff, and internally displaced persons inside, resulting in nearly 200 deaths and hundreds injured to date. The continuous assault has led to the destruction of several hospital buildings, causing suffocation among the displaced and patients due to resulting fires, as well as cutting off communications, blocking humanitarian aid entry, destroying medical equipment and all facilities within the hospital, and preventing the evacuation of the wounded due to intense fires, targeting anyone moving within the complex.

Some documented images by journalists show civilians being targeted by tank marches and injured individuals being run over by tank treads. Israeli forces continue to detain 150 patients and 250 displaced persons, threatening medical staff, some of whom were cold-bloodedly killed on the spot, such as Doctor Mohammed Al-Nunu, who refused to leave the hospital and continued to provide healthcare services to the patients.

It is worth mentioning that this incursion is the third since the beginning of the military aggression on Gaza, as Israeli forces launched an attack on the largest medical complex in Gaza in mid-November last year, destroying large parts of it and evacuating it entirely before withdrawing after more than two weeks. Subsequently, the hospital turned into a shelter for thousands of displaced persons.

Recently, the hospital resumed partial health services, only to be evacuated again, with over 800 individuals arrested after being stripped naked, tortured, and detained in unknown locations, including journalists and doctors fulfilling their humanitarian duties within the hospital. Some reports indicate the direct execution of dozens of displaced persons and hospital workers, while more than 65 families were forced to leave the complex, with entire families being killed. Concurrently with the wide-scale attack on the hospital, Israeli forces destroyed and set fire to dozens of residential buildings surrounding the hospital, issuing new eviction orders to residents of Al-Rimal neighborhood, demanding their immediate evacuation to the human zone in Al-Mawasi. This demonstrates that Israeli forces continue to commit genocide and forcibly displace residents, emptying Gaza City without regard for international humanitarian law or the interim measures issued by the International Court of Justice on January 26th to prevent the commission of genocide.

The humanitarian situation inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex is catastrophic, with the siege entering its seventh consecutive day amid water and food shortages, lack of medications, malfunctioning medical devices, and ongoing Israeli shelling, leaving patients, wounded, and displaced persons without food and water for seven days, resulting in the deaths of five wounded individuals due to water and healthcare service shortages, with worms now emerging from patients’ wounds.

On the other hand, Israeli forces continue to prevent humanitarian aid from entering northern Gaza, shelling and firing at aid recipients at the Kuwaiti Circle, leading to the martyrdom of 25 civilians and the injury of dozens in a repeated pattern of war crimes against aid recipients for the twelfth consecutive time, resulting in the martyrdom of more than 500 civilians and the injury of thousands of other aid recipients who posed no threat to Israeli forces, deliberately using the weapon of starvation against Palestinians. The total casualties of the aggression since October 7th amount to 32,070 martyrs, 74,298 wounded, and thousands of missing persons, in addition to repeated forced displacement of more than 90% of the population of the Gaza Strip.

The International Commission “Hashd” renews its deep concern over the deliberate targeting of hospitals in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces, making them legitimate targets despite being protected under international humanitarian law. It views the imminent collapse of the healthcare system in Gaza as a violation of international law and humanitarian law. The repeated pattern of Israeli forces’ war crimes against hospitals and the healthcare sector has resulted in the destruction and closure of 84% of hospitals. Hashd strongly condemns the ongoing blockade and incursion of Al-Shifa Hospital, forcing patients, wounded individuals, and displaced persons to evacuate. Over 800 doctors, workers, wounded individuals, and displaced persons have been arrested, interrogated, tortured, and summarily executed. Israeli forces continue to destroy hospital buildings and facilities, cut off electricity and oxygen supplies to patients and wounded individuals, resulting in the death of five wounded individuals. Aid convoys and medical supplies are being detained and prevented from entering Al-Shifa Hospital, which remains under a suffocating siege, with 150 critical cases unable to be evacuated to other hospitals.

Hashd condemns the international community’s failure to stop Israeli occupation crimes and records the following:

  • Hashd warns that the continued targeting of healthcare institutions and personnel deepens the genocide against the Palestinian people. It calls on the international community to take immediate action to save medical staff, patients, and displaced persons inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex. It urges the Israeli occupation to cease the use of starvation as a weapon, the forced displacement of Gaza residents, and the emptying of Gaza City and its north, compelling them to move southward, which Israel claims are safe areas, while there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip.
  • Hashd warns of the grave consequences of a ground assault on Rafah City as it poses a threat to regional security. It emphasizes the urgent implementation of measures to ensure Israeli compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, including the protection and safety of Palestinians in all areas of the Gaza Strip. • Hushd condemns the ongoing genocide against the people of Gaza and the continuous international failure to stop it. It calls on the UN Security Council to expedite its efforts to implement the International Court of Justice’s resolutions to halt Israel’s continuous aggression on Gaza and provide international protection for Palestinians. It urges action to prevent the expansion of the ground assault on Rafah City, which threatens the forced displacement of Palestinians outside the occupied Palestinian territories and ensure the opening of additional humanitarian corridors and the development of mechanisms for the entry of humanitarian aid to alleviate the ongoing famine and humanitarian disaster caused by Israel’s continuous aggression on Gaza for 170 consecutive days.
  • Hashd calls on the State of Palestine and world governments to refer the ongoing genocide and aggression to the International Criminal Court for a serious investigation. It calls on the public prosecutor to issue arrest warrants against perpetrators of genocide and war crimes and to end the policy of procrastination and selectivity in enforcing international law. It also demands that the State of Palestine join the application of the International Court of Justice filed by South Africa and support the use of the principle of universal jurisdiction to hold Israeli occupation leaders and their accomplices accountable before national courts.
  • Hashd urges the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the free people of the world, international and regional organizations to escalate their individual and collective efforts, political and diplomatic movements, and popular actions to stop Israeli aggression and catastrophic civilian suffering before it is too late. This should ensure the implementation of the International Court of Justice’s rulings protecting Palestinians from genocide and support the work of UNRWA and other international organizations in providing relief to the Palestinian people until the end of the occupation and the dismantling of the colonial and apartheid system.


The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)

Short Link