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Israel Latest: US Backs Assertion Hamas Hides Under Hospitals

Israel Latest: US Backs Assertion Hamas Hides Under Hospitals
The "March for Israel" rally on the National Mall in Washington, on Nov. 14, 2023. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

The US has intelligence confirming Israel’s assertion that Hamas and other Iran-backed militant groups are using hospitals, including the central Al-Shifa facility in Gaza, to conceal and support their military operations, the Biden administration said.

Israel may be nearing a deal with Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and European Union, for the return of some of the hostages taken in its Oct. 7 attack, Israeli broadcaster Kan News said. President Joe Biden said he’s optimistic the remaining hostages will be released, telling reporters “I believe it’s going to happen.”

Tens of thousands of people gathered on Washington’s National Mall to express support for Israel in one of the largest such demonstrations since the war began.

For more stories on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.

All time stamps are Israeli time:

Pentagon Sends More Armaments to Israel (12:30 a.m.)

The Pentagon has quietly stepped up military aid to Israel, delivering on requests that include more laser-guided missiles for its Apache gunship fleet, as well as 155mm shells, night-vision devices, bunker-buster munitions and new army vehicles, according to an internal Defense Department list.

The weapons pipeline to Israel is extending beyond the well-publicized provision of Iron Dome interceptors and Boeing Co. smart bombs. It continues even as Biden administration officials increasingly caution the Israeli government to try to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.

Tens of Thousands Turn Out in Washington to Support Israel (10:20 p.m.)

Tens of thousands of people gathered on Washington’s National Mall to express support for Israel in one of the largest such demonstrations since the war began.

Congressional leaders addressed the crowd, denouncing what they said was rising antisemitism and pledging continued backing for Israel. Organizers said the event drew more than 200,000 people, but there was no official confirmation of that estimate.

Security was tight at the event, but there were no immediate reports of violence. Thousands of supporters of Palestinians demonstrated in Washington on Nov. 5.

US Says Intelligence Confirms Hamas Hides Under Hospitals (9:40 p.m.)

The US has intelligence confirming Israel’s assertion that Hamas and other Iran-backed militant groups are using hospitals —  including the central Al-Shifa facility in Gaza — to conceal and support their operations, the White House said.

The groups “operate a command and control node” from Al-Shifa and have stored weapons and used tunnels underneath the hospital to hide their military operations, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters aboard Air Force One. The US also believes that the groups have held hostages under the hospital, he added, without specifying the source of the information.

The US said it believes militants were “prepared to respond to a military operation” by Israel against the facility. White House officials have said they don’t want to see an aerial bombing of the facility or a firefight inside, because they don’t want innocent patients to be hurt in the crossfire. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military’s spokesman, called on Hamas operatives hiding under hospitals to surrender so as not to endanger patients.

More Signs of Hostage Deal With Hamas Cited by Broadcaster (9:27 p.m.)

Israel may be nearing a deal with Hamas for the return of some of the hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, Kan News says.

Negotiators are currently discussing the names of Hamas members who would be released as part of the deal, the stages in which the agreement would be carried out and the number of days that Israel must agree to a cease-fire, the Israeli public broadcaster reported. Axios reporter Barak Ravid said that the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security services met with the Egyptian intelligence chief in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss efforts to free the hostages as well as Egypt’s role during the war and afterward.

Israel Says It Seized Control of a Hamas Camp (6:59 p.m.)

Israel’s military said it has gained control over the Shati Camp in northern Gaza. “Inside the camp are Hamas infrastructure and battalions, including the Shati Battalion, which took a central part in the invasion and massacre of Saturday, October 7th,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Combined air and ground forces struck numerous targets on the outskirts of the Shati Camp over several days, including buildings and government institutions belonging to Hamas from which the IDF said “terrorist activity was directed against the citizens of Israel and IDF forces.”

During the operation Hamas operatives were apprehended and transferred to Israel for interrogation, according to the Israeli statement.

Biden Expresses Confidence Hostages Will Be Released (6:08 p.m.)

President Joe Biden said he’s optimistic the remaining hostages taken by Hamas during its Oct. 7 assault on Israel would be released. “I’ve been talking with the people involved every single day,” Biden told reporters. “I believe it’s going to happen. But I don’t want to get into detail.”

The Biden administration has been in touch with the Israeli government as well as leaders in Qatar, which houses Hamas’s political office, about securing the release of the hostages.

Asked to deliver a message of hope to the hostages, Biden said, “Hang in there, we’re coming.”

War Cabinet Minister Says Cease-Fire Wouldn’t End War (5:16 p.m.)

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, said that “even if a cease-fire is required for the return of hostages from Gaza, there will be no stopping of the war.” He said Israel is making every “political and military effort to bring the daughters and the sons home safely.”

Gantz, a former defense minister, spoke during a visit to Israel’s northern border, where there have been escalating exchanges between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah, prompting the evacuation of 60,000 Israeli citizens. “I see Nasrallah’s conduct and ask: Has he lost touch with reality? This question should now be asked by Lebanese citizens and the Lebanese government,” Gantz said, referring to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Israeli Gas Flows to Egypt to Recover (4:39 p.m.)

Israel’s natural gas flows to Egypt are expected to almost double and reach pre-war levels early next week, according to a person familiar with Egyptian imports, after a major offshore field resumed output on easing safety concerns.

Imports are expected to rise to 650 million cubic feet a day on Thursday, and to the normal level of 800 million early next week, from about 250 million earlier in November, the person said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public.

Hamas Media Office Says Gaza Deaths Top 11,500 (3:47 p.m.)

The Hamas-run media office said more than 11,500 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the conflict. Medical workers at the Al-Shifa hospital have buried some of the dead in a mass grave on the facility’s grounds, according to health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qedra.

S&P Sees Israeli Economy Slumping Sharply This Quarter (9:49 a.m.)

Israel’s economy is on track to shrink 5% this quarter from the previous three months, according to S&P Global Ratings, a decline equivalent to just over half the drop it saw at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

S&P predicts a “gradual” economic rebound will follow through next year to bring output to its pre-war level by end-2024 — based on the scenario that the war against Hamas remains centered on Gaza. “Nevertheless, we see a risk of the conflict widening across the region with possible knock-on effects,” S&P analysts including Maxim Rybnikov said in a report.

Al-Shifa Hospital Situation in Focus (5:56 a.m.)

Biden said the Al-Shifa medical facility in Gaza “must be protected” as fighting around the hospital intensifies and Israel and Hamas trade barbs over the situation there.

The US president told reporters at the White House on Monday that it’s his “hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action with the military” around the hospital.

Read more: Israel Closes In on Main Gaza Hospital It Says Houses Hamas Base

Israel says Al-Shifa is a “major hub” of Hamas’s activities because the group has a command center located in tunnels underneath it.

Yellen Says War’s Global Economic Impact Limited (4:34 a.m.)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said there hasn’t been “much economic impact” from the conflict so far but said officials at the APEC conference did discuss the potential risks from the war continuing.

“There was a strongly shared view that it’s important for all of us to work, to do everything we can to contain the conflict between Israel and Hamas so that it doesn’t become a broader regional conflict,” Yellen said.

War Comes First in Israeli Budget, Minister Says (2:05 a.m.)

Israel’s 2024 budget will be structured to focus on the war, with concessions necessary to expand the country’s unity government, a senior minister said.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is expanding the unity government, throughout the war and after the war,” Nir Barkat, Israel’s economy and industry minister, said Monday during a Bloomberg Radio interview in New York.

Israel Minister Says 2024 Budget to Focus on War and Then Growth

“In 2024, we are really structuring the budget to focus on the war and to focus on economic growth immediately after. We will make the concessions needed so that everyone is happy,” he said.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Ken Shai says:

    Of course, US intelligence always “find” what the regime wants them to but then refuses to present the proof saying that it is classified and secret. US intelligence is the most corrupt institution anywhere in any country, and their corruption is protected from public view by their secrecy and “national security” . Imagine how bad the corruption would be in South Africa if for example ANC would be able to say everything they do is secret and national security, and they can not share proof of anything or disclose anything to the public for reasons of national security. Now simply US intelligence is “finding” terrorists under hospitals because Biden regime is getting too much heat for supporting Israeli bombardments of hospitals.
    Just remember how the same US intelligence “found” that President Trump was a Russian spy. President Trump managed to prove that it was all a lie from the beginning to the end

  • Ritey roo roo says:

    The videos of underground tunnels under hospitals are available on the Internet. Mostly posted by Israeli soldiers.

  • Richard van Zyl says:

    Hamas Tactics: It is widely acknowledged that Hamas strategically uses civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools to conceal fuel and weapons, exploiting the protective status of these locations.

    Manipulation of Public Sentiment: Hamas is adept at manipulating public sentiment by fabricating stories and disseminating exaggerated falsehoods. This tactic is employed to sway public opinion in their favor.

    Suppressing Criticism: The organization employs severe measures, including shootings, to suppress any form of criticism. This fear of retaliation prevents individuals from contradicting Hamas, creating an environment where dissent is silenced.

    Control Over Institutions: With Hamas in control, institutions like hospitals are effectively muzzled. The fear of reprisals ensures that these institutions do not speak out against Hamas, creating an atmosphere of silence and compliance.

    Israeli Evidence: Israel has presented video evidence showcasing the existence of bunkers and tunnels used by Hamas to store weapons. This serves as tangible proof supporting claims of the organization’s use of civilian infrastructure for military purposes.

    In essence, Hamas employs a combination of strategic tactics, manipulation of information, and suppression of dissent to maintain control and influence public perception. The evidence provided by Israel adds weight to concerns about the organization’s use of civilian spaces for military purposes.

  • vramaarnet vramaarnet says:

    So disappointed Daily Maverick publishes so many articles about Israel and the current conflict (see article by Aayesha J Soni) which are emotive and devoid of balance. When there is one which has only a few sentences which cast Israel in a bad light you count it as ‘balance’. In reality it is nowhere near balance – how can there be when there are reports carried in DM for pro-Palestinian positions that outnumber the ‘balance’ articles by 25 (or more) to one?

  • Robin Kemp says:

    “The US has intelligence confirming Israel’s assertion that Hamas and other Iran-backed militant groups are using hospitals” so what’s new – they have a history of this sort of thing. Fuel for propaganda – stuff the people.

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