US presses Israel to avoid combat near hospital used as Hamas HQ

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan voices anguish over civilian deaths while admitting Hamas is ‘violating the laws of war’ by placing its headquarters under a hospital.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday expressed concerns about civilian deaths at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City when interviewed on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” Sunday.

Sullivan emphasized that “The United States does not want to see firefights in hospitals where innocent people, patients receiving medical care, are caught in the crossfire. And we’ve had active consultations with the Israel Defense Forces on this.”

At the same time, Sullivan reaffirmed support of Israel’s “right and responsibility” to defend itself against Hamas and fight against the terror group, but added that “it must do so in a way that is consistent with the laws of war.”

Sullivan bemoaned the large number of Gazan casualties which, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, is about 11,000. However, he acknowledged that there is no independent verification of these numbers or how many were terrorists or were killed by accident.

Nevertheless, Sullivan added,” Every loss of life of an innocent person… is an absolute tragedy and we grieve for every one of those lives.”

The National Security Advisor did acknowledge the extraordinary circumstances the IDF is facing waging the current war posed by Hamas hiding its headquarters underneath hospitals and other areas housing vulnerable civilians.

“We can just look at the open source reporting that Hamas is using hospitals as it uses many facilities for command-and-control, for weapons storage, to house its fighters, and this is a violation of the laws of war.”