- Following five weeks of a near-total blockade of the Gaza Strip, the territory's largest hospital said it was forced to suspend operations after it ran out of fuel on Saturday, according to a Gaza health ministry spokesman, who said that one of 45 babies in incubators inside the Al-Shifa hospital had died.1
- It comes as Israeli ground forces had reportedly surrounded the hospital on Saturday morning, with gun fire reported on the grounds of the compound. A day earlier, Israel was accused of bombing the hospital, killing at least 13 people and injuring several others. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), however, claim that the strike was Palestinian rocket fire aimed at its troops.2
- Israel's tactics have faced growing criticism, including from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, who condemned the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 but claimed that the ongoing bombardment of Gaza would not result in 'enduring peace and security.' He further expressed concern that the attacks could be 'in breach of international humanitarian law.'3
- Meanwhile, Israel alleges that the Al-Shifa hospital is Hamas' main command center, with IDF spokesman Peter Lerner saying that the military makes every effort to try to prevent civilian casualties. According to the IDF, it expanded its humanitarian pauses on Saturday to seven hours — up from prior days' four to six hours — to allow Palestinians to evacuate southward.4
- There was also a shift in language used by US officials. While in India on Friday, US Sec. of State Antony Blinken said: 'Far too many Palestinians have been killed,' adding that he'll be discussing 'concrete steps' with Israel to minimize harm while bringing in maximum aid to civilians. French Pres. Emmanuel Macron also gave an interview to the BBC on Friday, urging Israel to stop its bombardment.5
- Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosted Arab and Muslim leaders for talks in Riyadh on Saturday, including Iranian Pres. Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad, who was recently welcomed back into the Arab League. They, too, called for an immediate end to Israel's attacks.6
- Pro-Israel narrative, as provided by The Times of Israel. Israel has presented evidence that terrorists from Hamas have placed their headquarters underneath the Al-Shifa hospital, specifically with the aim of using the civilians at the facility as human shields. After Hamas' heinous attack on Israel, the country has the right to ensure its security.
- Pro-Palestine narrative, as provided by ReliefWeb. Even if Israel's claims are true, it has an overriding obligation under international humanitarian law to prevent unnecessary harm to civilians, as well as ensuring that the principles of distinction, precautions in attack, and proportionality are respected. There are serious concerns that Israel's attacks are breaching international law.