Israel Fails to Prove Hospitals are Hamas Bases, Guardian Analysis Reveals

There would be some evidence.

There would be evidence.

Julian Borger writes for The Guardian:

Prior to their capture of Dar al-Shifa hospital, the Israel Defense Forces went to great lengths to depict the medical complex as a headquarters for Hamas, from where its attacks on Israel were planned.

The evidence produced so far falls well short of that. IDF videos have shown only modest collections of small arms, mostly assault rifles, recovered from the extensive medical complex.

That suggests an armed presence, but not the sort of elaborate nerve centre depicted in animated graphics presented to the media before al-Shifa was seized, portraying a network of well-equipped subterranean chambers.

Even the videos produced so far have raised questions under scrutiny. A BBC analysis found the footage of an IDF spokesperson showing the apparent discovery of a bag containing a gun behind an MRI scanning machine, had been taped hours before the arrival of the journalists to whom he was supposedly showing it.

In a video shown later, the number of guns in the bag had doubled. The IDF claimed its video of what it found at the hospital was unedited, filmed in a single take, but the BBC analysis found it had been edited.

All of this is significant under the Geneva conventions, which forbid military operations against hospitals unless “they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy”. This exception, spelled out in article 19 of the fourth Geneva convention, states specifically: “… the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy”.

Israel ratified the Geneva conventions in 1951 and claims to observe the principle of proportionality under international humanitarian law, in which the direct military advantage anticipated from a military operation outweighs the civilian harm that can reasonably be anticipated as a consequence. Its observance of those principles is what is in question.

Israel has failed to provide anywhere even close to the level of evidence required to justify the narrow exception under which hospitals can be targeted under the laws of war,” said Mai El-Sadany, a human rights lawyer and the executive director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, in Washington.

Josh Hawley, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis are attempting to shut down your access to this information.

I’m glad that The Guardian is on it.