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Israel says WHO ‘colluding’ with Hamas by ignoring ‘terrorist use’ of Gaza hospitals

Israel has accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of collaborating with Hamas by allegedly overlooking Israeli evidence regarding the military use of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador, addressed the WHO’s executive board, asserting that healthcare in the Palestinian territory is compromised when Hamas uses hospitals for military purposes. Shahar claimed that in every hospital searched by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza, evidence of Hamas’ military use was found. However, the WHO continues to disregard these facts, leading Israel to accuse the organization of collusion rather than incompetence.

Israel maintains that Hamas utilizes civilians as human shields by establishing operational bases under hospitals. This claim has been supported by captured Hamas terrorists, stating that the group intentionally places military facilities under medical centers, as Israel is less likely to target them. The Israeli ambassador emphasized on social media that there is clear evidence of Hamas’s “terrorist use” of hospitals.

During the same session addressing the organization’s work in health emergencies, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who experienced war as a child, expressed his emotional response to the conditions in Gaza. He described the situation as “hellish” and urged a political resolution, emphasizing the need to choose peace over further conflict. However, he broke down while discussing the current dire situation, emphasizing the need for a two-state solution to end the ongoing war.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted following brutal massacres orchestrated by Hamas on October 7, where thousands of terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza, resulting in numerous casualties and hostages. In response, Israel initiated a large-scale military offensive against Hamas, resulting in thousands of reported deaths in Gaza. The figures are contested, with the IDF claiming over 9,000 Hamas operatives killed and the Palestinian health ministry providing a higher, unverified number.

In December, a UN-backed report indicated a crisis of hunger and a growing risk of famine in Gaza. The WHO Director-General’s emotional response during the session did not address Israel’s claims of hostages, rapes, and Hamas’ militarization of hospitals, further deepening the divide between the parties.

Israel’s accusations against the WHO mirror its defense against South African claims of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague earlier in January. Israel detailed Hamas’s extensive use of civilian infrastructure in Gaza for military purposes during these proceedings. The court was set to rule on South Africa’s request for emergency measures against Israel, excluding the genocide claims.

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