The European Union called on Israel to exercise “maximum restraint” in order to safeguard civilians on Sunday, condemning Hamas for using “hospitals and civilians as human shields” in Gaza.
Medical personnel report that hospitals in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave are under siege by Israeli soldiers and are hardly able to provide basic medical care to Palestinians within. Al Shifa and Al-Quds, the two biggest hospitals in Gaza, announced that they will be ceasing operations.
Israel claims that in order to release the approximately 200 hostages that the terrorists abducted in Israel during an attack a little more than a month ago, Hamas has set up command headquarters under and close to hospitals. Hospitals have not been used by Hamas in this manner.
“The EU condemns the use of hospitals and civilians as human shields by Hamas,” Josep Borrell, the head of EU foreign policy, stated in a statement released on behalf of the 27-nation bloc. “Civilians must be allowed to leave the combat zone.”
Simultaneously, he called on Israel to use the utmost caution, emphasising the duty imposed by international humanitarian law to safeguard medical facilities, supplies, and patients within hospitals.
“These hostilities are severely impacting hospitals and taking a horrific toll on civilians and medical staff,” Borrell stated.
“Hospitals must … be supplied immediately with the most urgent medical supplies, and patients that require urgent medical care need to be evacuated safely,” he stated. “In this context, we urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians.”