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Israeli forces battle inside Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, being used as Hamas front

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Explosions and airstrikes shake the buildings of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital. Dust and debris fill the air inside the intensive care unit, as medics cough, cover their faces, and transfer patients on stretchers through the foggy haze.

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Israeli forces stormed the hospital complex Wednesday morning, Nov. 15, carrying out “a precise and targeted operation” against Hamas terrorists inside a specific area of the hospital.

Hamas now claims that Al-Shifa is under the control of Israeli forces, according to CNN.

The Israeli military has repeatedly accused Hamas of operating a command center beneath the hospital complex. Both Hamas and hospital staff have repeatedly denied the claim.

However, U.S. officials have once again confirmed that Hamas uses civilian infrastructure, including Al-Shifa hospital, as a front to operate its military operations.

“We absolutely believe hospitals should be places, where people seeking medical treatment and attention need to be, and those places should be protected,” said U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson Sabrina Singh during a briefing on Tuesday afternoon. “But, you have to remember that, and we do have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad uses some hospitals in the Gaza strip, including the Al-Shifa, as a way to conceal and support their military operations and hold hostages.”

Hamas is still holding nearly 240 hostages captive. United States National Security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed nine Americans are still missing since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel.

Families of hostages are desperate for their loved ones to come home.

“I feel like kidnapped is not the right word,” said Rachel Goldberg, an American whose son was taken by Hamas militants from the music festival in southern Israel on Oct. 7. “It’s so much worse than that. When our son is dancing at a music festival, has his arm blown off, and is taken. All of us together, our children, our loved ones, are American citizens who were wrongfully taken from where they were and for 39 days, they’ve been somewhere in Gaza.”

Israel Defense Force (IDF) believes some of those hostages are being held captive by Hamas underneath the Al-Shifa hospital complex. By Wednesday morning, Israeli forces surrounded and entered the Al-Shifa complex in search of Hamas militants.

“The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our hostages,” said Gen. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesperson. “Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians.”

According to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry, 82 Palestinians were buried in a mass grave inside the medical complex, and the IDF forced 25 hospitals and 52 health care centers in Gaza out of service.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the United States did not sign off on Israel’s Al-Shifa military operation. The United States does not have soldiers on the ground in Gaza and is not involved.

Kirby also reiterated that the IDF has a responsibility to eliminate Hamas, and that the United States doesn’t want to “see innocent civilians, patients, medical staff become victims of crossfire between Hamas and Israeli Defense Forces.”

The Israeli military also released a video on Tuesday that shows its soldiers “dismantling Hamas centers and capabilities it had built over the years.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief Agency, which operates in Gaza, warned “our entire operation is now on the verge of collapse.”

In a post on X, the agency said that by the end of Wednesday, 70% of Gaza’s population will not have access to clean water.

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(LAUREN TAYLOR | ANCHOR)
EXPLOSIONS AND AIRSTRIKES SHAKE THE BUILDINGS OF GAZA’S AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL.

DUST AND DEBRIS FILL THE AIR INSIDE THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT – AS MEDICS COUGH AND COVER THEIR FACES… AND TRANSFER PATIENTS ON STRETCHERS THROUGH THE FOGGY HAZE.

ISRAELI FORCES STORMED THE HOSPITAL COMPLEX WEDNESDAY MORNING – CARRYING OUT “A PRECISE AND TARGETED OPERATION” – AGAINST HAMAS TERRORISTS – INSIDE A SPECIFIC AREA OF THE HOSPITAL.

HAMAS NOW CLAIMING – AL-SHIFA IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF ISRAELI FORCES – ACCORDING TO CNN.

THE ISRAELI MILITARY HAS REPEATEDLY ACCUSED HAMAS OF OPERATING A COMMAND CENTER BENEATH THE HOSPITAL COMPLEX – A CLAIM BOTH HAMAS AND AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL STAFF HAVE REPEATEDLY DENIED.

HOWEVER – U-S OFFICIALS CONFIRM – ONCE AGAIN – THAT HAMAS USES CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL, AS A FRONT TO OPERATE ITS MILITARY OPERATIONS.

(SABRINA SINGH / DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON)
“WE ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE HOSPITALS SHOULD BE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT AND ATTENTION NEED TO BE AND THOSE PLACES SHOULD BE PROTECTED. BUT, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT, AND WE DO HAVE INFORMATION THAT HAMAS AND THE PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD USES SOME HOSPITALS IN THE GAZA STRIP, INCLUDING THE AL-SHIFA AS A WAY TO CONCEAL AND SUPPORT THEIR MILITARY OPERATIONS AND HOLD HOSTAGES. THEY HAVE TUNNELS UNDERNEATH THESE HOSPITALS. AND SO, HAMAS AND PIJ MEMBERS OPERATE A COMMAND AND CONTROL NODE FROM AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL IN GAZA CITY. THEY HAVE WEAPONS STORED THERE AND ARE PREPARED TO RESPOND TO AN ISRAELI MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST THE FACILITY.”

(LAUREN TAYLOR | ANCHOR)

HAMAS IS STILL HOLDING NEARLY 240 HOSTAGES CAPTIVE.
U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER -JAKE SULLIVAN- CONFIRMED 9 AMERICANS ARE STILL MISSING SINCE THE HAMAS TERROR ATTACK ON ISRAEL OCTOBER 7TH.

FAMILIES OF HOSTAGES ARE DESPERATE FOR THEIR LOVED ONES TO COME HOME.

(RACHEL GOLDBERG / SON IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS)
“I FEEL LIKE KIDNAPPED IS NOT THE RIGHT WORD. IT’S SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT. WHEN OUR SON IS DANCING AT A MUSIC FESTIVAL, HAS HIS ARM BLOWN OFF, AND IS TAKEN.. ALL OF US TOGETHER, OUR CHILDREN, OUR LOVED ONES, ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO WERE WRONGFULLY TAKEN FROM WHERE THEY WERE AND FOR 39 DAYS THEY’VE BEEN SOMEWHERE IN GAZA”

(LAUREN TAYLOR | ANCHOR)

IDF FORCES BELIEVE – SOME OF THOSE HOSTAGES COULD BE HELD CAPTIVE UNDERNEATH THE AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL COMPLEX.

BY WEDNESDAY MORNING – ISRAELI FORCES SURROUNDED AND ENTERED THE AL-SHIFA COMPLEX – SEARCHING FOR HAMAS MILITANTS.

(BRIG. GEN. DANIEL HAGARI / IDF SPOKESPERSON)
“THE IDF IS CONDUCTING A GROUND OPERATION IN GAZA TO DEFEAT HAMAS AND RESCUE OUR HOSTAGES. ISRAEL IS AT WAR WITH HAMAS, NOT WITH THE CIVILIANS.”

(LAUREN TAYLOR | ANCHOR)

ACCORDING TO THE HAMAS-RUN PALESTINIAN HEALTH MINISTRY – 82 PALESTINIANS WERE BURIED IN A MASS GRAVE INSIDE THE MEDICAL COMPLEX… AND THE IDF FORCED 25 HOSPITALS AND 52 HEALTHCARE CENTERS IN GAZA – OUT OF SERVICE.

U-S NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON JOHN KIRBY – SAID THE UNITED STATES DID NOT SIGN OFF ON ISRAEL’S AL-SHIFA MILITARY OPERATION – THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT HAVE SOLDIERS ON THE GROUND IN GAZA AND IS NOT INVOLVED.

KIRBY ALSO REITERATED THAT THE U-S DOESN’T WANT TO “SEE INNOCENT CIVILIANS, PATIENTS, MEDICAL STAFF BECOME VICTIMS OF CROSSFIRE BETWEEN HAMAS AND ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES.”

THE ISRAELI MILITARY ALSO RELEASED A VIDEO ON TUESDAY – SHOWING ITS SOLDIERS “DISMANTLING HAMAS CENTERS AND CAPABILITIES IT HAD BUILT OVER THE YEARS.”

MEANWHILE – THE UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AGENCY –WHICH OPERATES IN GAZA – WARNED – “OUR ENTIRE OPERATION IS NOW ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE” – SAYING IN A POST ON X — THAT BY DAY’S END WEDNESDAY – 70% OF GAZA’S POPULATION WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER.