ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Top Biden aide says US concerned about civilian casualties in fight for Shifa hospital

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks at the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks at the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the Biden administration has shared concerns with Israel about potential civilian casualties in a military operation to take Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, where Hamas allegedly has a key command center.

“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,” Sullivan tells the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”

Sullivan notes the IDF has said it’s working to ensure the safety of patients “while they also try to figure out a way to try to deal with the fact that Hamas is operating in a way that is outside the bounds of any civilized concept of how you would think about using a hospital, using human shields.”

“It’s an active conversation, but the bottom line is that we do not want to see firefights in hospitals,” he adds.

Sullivan also appears to back Israeli allegations about Hamas’s use of Al-Shifa.

“Without getting into intelligence information, 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,” he says.

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