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IDF strikes Gaza hospital it calls Hamas command center

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel bombed a Gaza City hospital that its military said has been used as a Hamas command center and rocket-launching site.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said it “has targeted specific sites and terrorists located within the premises of Al-Wafa hospital in Gaza City.” It was the second time in a week that the IDF had hit the hospital.

In the latter strike, the hospital was empty of staff and patients, who were transferred to a different Gaza City hospital a week ago, its director told Haaretz.

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 the hospital grounds and its immediate surroundings “have been repeatedly utilized by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a command center, rocket launching site, and a post enabling terrorists to open fire at soldiers.”

In the previous strike on the hospital, doctors and patients had to flee the premises, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.

The IDF said it has “raised its concerns” about the use of the hospital by Hamas with international organizations, as well as directly to the hospital administration and other Palestinian officials.

 

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