A destroyed car with blood splattered along the sidefollowing an Israeli air strike close to Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 03 November 2023. EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

Israeli army confirms ambulance attack

Jerusalem, Nov 3 (EFE) – Referring to the recent attack on the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the Israeli army confirmed on Friday that it attacked an ambulance used by a “Hamas terrorist cell” in a “combat zone”.

The Palestinian Health Ministry also reported that several people were killed and dozens wounded in the Israeli attack near the al-Shifa hospital.

Israel’s military said it identified and hit an ambulance “being used by a Hamas terrorist cell” in the battle zone. “A number of Hamas terror operatives were killed in the strike,” the Israel Defense Forces added.

“We have information which demonstrates that Hamas’ method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances,” they added.

The army said it would release more details about the attack and that it had shared “intelligence information” with other agencies with which it cooperates.

The health ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, said 13 people were killed and 26 wounded in the attack by Israeli aircraft on ambulances carrying the wounded as they left al-Shifa hospital, where thousands of people have taken refuge.

Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, said the ambulance convoy was transporting critically wounded patients from al-Shifa hospital to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt when it was targeted.

The ministry also denounced the attack, despite having informed the Red Crescent and the international community of its intention to transport the wounded south for transfer to Egypt.

“We informed the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, we informed the whole world, that those victims were lined up in those ambulances,” he said.

Hours earlier, the ministry had in fact announced its intention to charter a caravan of ambulances carrying the wounded to the south of the strip at 4 pm local time via Al Rashid Street, and asked the Red Cross to accompany the convoy.

Health officials said there were “hundreds of seriously injured and critically ill people” who could no longer be treated at Al Shifa Hospital and “require admission to hospitals in the Arab Republic of Egypt”.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, rejected the attack on X, saying, “I am deeply shocked by reports of attacks on ambulances evacuating patients near Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, resulting in deaths, injuries and damage.”

“We reiterate that patients, health workers, facilities and ambulances must be protected at all times, always,” he added.EFE sga-jfu