Israel's president denies it is striking Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli President Isaac Herzog

© APA | Israeli President Isaac Herzog

# 13 November 2023 15:22 (UTC +04:00)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has denied that Israel is striking Gaza's largest hospital, APA reports citing BBC.

Reports from staff at Al-Shifa suggest the facility, sheltering thousands of Palestinians, has run out of electricity. But Mr Herzog said "everything is operating" at the hospital.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had lost communication with its contacts at Al-Shifa, with staff and patients trapped by fighting outside.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus later said that contact has been restored but warned of "dire" conditions inside. He repeated calls for a ceasefire and said the hospital has been without electricity and water for three days.

Doctors and the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza have said a lack of fuel there means patients cannot be operated on and incubators for premature babies cannot run. But the president disputed this.

"We deny this at all, there is a lot of spin by Hamas... but there's electricity in Shifa, everything is operating," Mr Herzog said.

Israel has said that Hamas has a base underneath the hospital building - a claim denied by Hamas.

Asked whether Israel has gone too far in its response to Hamas's 7 October attack, Mr Herzog said: "We work exactly according to the rules of international humanitarian law. We alert each and every civilian, because their homes have become terror bases".

He added: "Unfortunately, there are tragedies. We don't shy away from them. But truly many of the tragedies are done by Hamas, like they bombed [Al-]Shifa hospital yesterday, not Israel."