Israeli army uncovers Hamas tunnel shaft at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, UN aid halted | Top 10 updates

Israeli soldiers found a tunnel shaft used by Hamas militants at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, the army said. Following this, the United Nations voiced concern no aid would be delivered to Palestinians on Friday via the Rafah crossing with Egypt. 

The Israeli army released a video that showed a tunnel entrance in an outdoor area of Al Shifa, Gaza’s biggest hospital. Reuters could not immediately verify the video that showed a deep hole in the ground, littered with and surrounded by concrete and wood rubble and sand. 

The army said its troops also found a vehicle in the hospital containing a large number of weapons, according to a report published by Reuters. 

Israel-Hamas War: Here’s a 10-point guide on this big story

1) Hamas on Thursday said claims by the Pentagon and US State Department that the group uses Al Shifa for military purposes “is a repetition of a blatantly false narrative, demonstrated by the weak and ridiculous performances of the occupation army spokesman.”

2) White House spokesperson John Kirby said the United States is confident in an assessment from its own intelligence agencies on Hamas activities in Al Shifa hospital and will neither share nor elaborate on it. 

3) On the other hand, the two telecom companies in Gaza stated that all energy sources supplying the network had run out and therefore all services in the territory were down. Israel refuses fuel imports, saying Hamas could use them for military purposes, Reuters reported. 

4) The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said it was impossible to coordinate humanitarian aid truck convoys. “If the fuel does not come in, people will start to die because of the lack of fuel. Exactly as from when, I don’t know. But it will be sooner rather than later.”

5) Palestinian civilians have borne the brunt of Israel’s weeks-long military campaign in retaliation for an October 7 attack by Hamas that Israel says killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

6) Gaza health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations said at least 11,500 people have been confirmed killed in an Israeli bombardment and ground invasion – more than 4,700 of them children.

7) Israel was close to destroying Hamas’ military system in the northern Gaza Strip and there were signs the army was taking its campaign to other parts of the enclave of 2.3 million people, said the Israeli military’s chief of staff. 

8) The US State Department on Thursday said that Israel needs to ensure protection for civilians as it looks to expand military operations in Gaza.

9) “Civilians in Gaza were facing starvation because food and water had become “practically non-existent” due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas,” said the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). 

10) It added that bread was now “scarce or non-existent” and that it was impossible to “meet current hunger needs with one operational border crossing”.


(With Reuters inputs)

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 07:30 AM IST

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