Hamas prevented the Israeli military from providing 300 liters of fuel for urgent medical purposes at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the Israel Defense Forces revealed on Sunday.
“Early [Sunday] morning, IDF troops arrived at the entrance of the hospital and placed 300 liters of fuel for urgent medical purposes,” the army said. “Later, the IDF received evidence that Hamas officials prevented the hospital from receiving the fuel.”
The statement was accompanied by a recording of a conversation between a senior Israeli official and a Gazan official at Shifa Hospital to coordinate the delivery.
The statement also included video footage of soldiers delivering the fuel containers.
IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Saturday night that the military would assist with the evacuation of infants from Shifa Hospital.
“There is no siege, I repeat no siege, on Shifa Hospital. The east side of the hospital is open for the safe passage of Gazans who wish to leave the hospital,” said Hagari.
“We’re speaking directly and regularly with the hospital staff. The staff of Shifa Hospital has requested that we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed,” he continued.
The IDF announced on Sunday that in addition to Shifa, the military was enabling safe passage by foot and ambulance from Rantisi and Nasser hospitals.
Israel’s military also published an audio recording of a phone call between a senior officer in Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) with the Shifa Hospital manager on Saturday evening, instructing him on how to safely exit the hospital.
There was fierce combat in Gaza City on Sunday morning as the IDF closed in on Shifa, the largest medical center in the Strip and where the IDF says the main headquarters of the Hamas terrorist organization is located.
The IDF in recent weeks has provided evidence that Hamas uses Shifa and other Gaza hospitals for its operational activities, which are conducted in a massive tunnel system underneath the complexes. The patients at these hospitals are used as human shields and to hide Hamas’s activities, according to the IDF.
Israel also has provided evidence that Hamas has stockpiles of fuel and other supplies that it keeps for itself, refusing to share them with hospitals or the Gaza population in general.