‘Most Unethical Army in the World’ – Palestine Chronicle Assesses the Damage at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza
Apr. 1, 2024

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with three eyewitnesses, including two journalists, who were met with scenes of absolute devastation when they reached the vicinity of the hospital.

At dawn on Monday, April 1, Israeli occupation forces suddenly withdrew from the Al-Shifa Medical Complex following a two-week siege and constant attacks.

When they learned about the withdrawal, Gaza City residents  converged on the area west of Gaza City to survey the damage caused by the Israeli incursion and to assess the conditions of their homes, which they were forced to evacuate.

What they encountered was shocking.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with three eyewitnesses, including two journalists, who were met with scenes of absolute devastation when they reached the vicinity of the hospital.

Israel has Violated Everything

“Everything in the complex is destroyed. All the buildings of the hospital were bombed and are no longer usable,” Palestinian journalist Badr Abdel Aal told The Palestine Chronicle.

“The Al-Shifa Medical Complex is the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, and it is the lifeline of the health sector in Gaza,” he noted.

“But now, it is destroyed, and the occupation has completely taken it out of service. Israel must be held accountable for the crimes it committed in Al-Shifa,” Abdel All told us.

“All media outlets documented the crimes throughout these months and they are still there. This crime, however, cannot pass without accountability,” he continued.

“The occupation has violated everything in the Gaza Strip, and nobody in the world seems to be determined to stop them. Rather, major global powers are complicit and partners in massacring our Palestinian people.”

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‘We Did Not Expect All This Destruction’

Ayman Hattou is another journalist who witnessed the degree of devastation left behind by the Israeli army. He compared today’s obliteration to what he saw last November, when Israeli forces stormed the complex for the first time.

“In November, the destruction was confined to the external areas and only part of the buildings were damaged,” Hattou told us.

“We did not expect all of this. This time, the Israeli army left destruction and devastation in all the buildings of the complex. They were all bombed and burned. There is no usable building or floor,” he added.

“The scene that appeared in front of us this morning was like the destruction caused by the Mongols who invaded Iraq hundreds of years ago,” Hattou noted.

“This time around, however, everything was documented by cameras. It is crystal clear that the Israeli army is the most unethical army in the world, they have no red lines.”

‘Where are My Children?’ 

Abu Anas al-Shanshiri is a resident of Gaza City. His son Anas and his daughter Aisha were killed nearly three months ago by an Israeli strike and their bodies were buried in the courtyard of Al-Shifa.

“I couldn’t find a place to bury them at that time. We were forced to bury them in the medical complex, and I used to visit their graves regularly,” he told The Palestine Chronicle.

Al-Shansiri hoped that the bodies remained there so that he could bury them in a cemetery after the end of the war.

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“When I learned that the occupation had stormed Al-Shifa, two weeks ago, I followed the news obsessively. My biggest fear was that they would dig up graves and remove bodies from the courtyard,” he said.

“But when I rushed there this morning, the destruction and devastation I witnessed cannot be described. If an earthquake had struck the complex, it would have been less devastating than the ruins left by the occupation.”

Al-Shanshiri reached the place where his son and daughter were buried, only to find a hole amid the rubble and the destruction.

“I couldn’t find the bodies of my children, and I could not locate their whereabouts,” he said, in tears.

“Perhaps the occupation forces took them, or perhaps their bulldozers swept them away and moved them under the rubble to other places in the complex,” he continued.

“I am still searching, hoping to find them. The atrocities they committed in Al-Shifa, including by digging up graves, are simply unspeakable.”

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