Israel's Gaza offensive condemned by Qatar as conflict continues. (Image Credits: The Hindu)

Outcry over Israeli offensive at hospitals in Gaza

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Israel’s operations involving medical facilities in Gaza have drawn the ire of many nations around the world, contributing to a shift in opinions with regard to the Israel- Hamas conflict.

Following the Israeli Defense Force’s raid on Al Shifa hospital, the largest medical institution in Gaza, many observers have questioned the methods and tactics Israel has been using. The greatest indictment being that Israel is willfully allowing civilians, including women and children to get drawn into the conflict, becoming collateral damage.

Qatar has taken a strong stance against Israel, calling for an international probe into Israel’s operations involving Gaza’s hospitals.

The Foreign Minister of Qatar is seeking “an urgent international investigation”, involving the United Nations, which should look into Israel’s penchant for targeting medica facilities in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Qatar went as far as to term Israel’s operations in the Al Shifa hospital, “war crimes” that must be investigated.

According to a source who was inside the hospital, the IDF raided the compound, cleared it thoroughly and then redeployed to the outskirts of the compound.

While Israel has stated that Hamas is using such medical facilities as bases of operations, Hamas has denied it, remaining consistent with the rhetoric.

Doha categorically terms the assault on Al Shifa “a war crime and a blatant violation of international laws.”

Qatar has seen its role in this conflict change as it started out as a mediator between the two sides, making attempts to broker a ceasefire between them. Now though, the gulf nation is urging the “international community to take swift and decisive measures to hold Israel accountable, acting as a deterrent against further crimes targeting civilians.”

Having said that, Qatar’s mediations have not been a complete failure as they have managed to help secure the release of 4 out of the 240 hostages which were seized by Hamas militants during the October 7th attack.

It is estimated that the attack on Israel which sarked this conflict, cost the lives of 1,200 citizens, largely civilians. Israel’s response has resulted in the deaths of roughly 11,500 people in Gaza, who also were mostly civilians.

Qatar is a major player in this conflict as it happens to be the political home base of Hamas which has its main office in the gulf nation. It is also happens to be the home of Hamas’s self-exiled leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

Hence, it is no wonder that Qatar finds itself with a seat at the table when Israel and Hamas have to converse.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed on Tuesday that Hamas was no longer in control of northern Gaza. He added that Gaza city had been wrested from the grasp of Hamas as well.

Simultaneously, the UN Security Council has been making attempts to push a resolution through its doors, allowing for “humanitarian pauses” to the fighting in Gaza. The UN humanitarian agency chief had this to add, “carnage in Gaza reaches new levels of horror every day”