JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel bombed a hospital in Gaza City that the military says has been used as a Hamas command centre and rocket launching site.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement issued Wednesday that it “has targeted specific sites and terrorists located within the premises of Al-Wafa hospital in Gaza City.”
The hospital was targeted, the IDF said, “in light of several occasions in which fire was opened at IDF forces from within the hospital grounds, and despite repeated warnings against such activities, and notifications to civilians to vacate the premises.”
The IDF said that the hospital grounds and its immediate surroundings “have been repeatedly utilized by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a command centre, rocket launching site, and a post enabling terrorists to open fire at soldiers.”
The IDF also bombed the hospital a week ago, causing doctors and patients to flee the premises, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.
The head of the hospital told Haaretz Wednesday that building was empty of staff and patients, who were transferred to a different Gaza City hospital a week ago.
The IDF said it has “raised its concerns” about the use of the hospital by Hamas with international organizations in the past as well as directly to the hospital administration and other Palestinian officials.