Saudi Arabia condemned Israel’s raid on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, calling it a “blatant violation of international law” in a statement Thursday from the Foreign Ministry. It also condemned what it said was shelling near another hospital and called on international bodies to hold Israel accountable.
Israel says its troops are carrying out a targeted operation in Shifa, where it has long accused Hamas of maintaining an underground command center. Hamas and hospital staff have denied the allegations. Israeli forces searching the medical compound since early Wednesday say they have found guns and other indications that Hamas militants were inside, but have not shown any evidence regarding the alleged command center.
Hospitals can lose their protections under international law if combatants use them for military purposes. Even then, civilians must be given ample time and opportunity to flee and any action must be proportional to the military objective.
Before the war, Saudi Arabia was in talks with the United States over potentially normalizing relations with Israel.