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War on Gaza: Israel lied about bunker under Al-Shifah hospital – Palestine envoy

His Excellency Abdullah Shawesh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Nigeria, has debunked the claim by the Israeli military of a bunker housing the…

His Excellency Abdullah Shawesh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Nigeria, has debunked the claim by the Israeli military of a bunker housing the Hamas command centre under the Al-Shifah hospital.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, Ambassador Shawesh said it was all propaganda.

According to him, the Israeli engineers developed the Al-Shifah hospital and built the bunker, adding that they had always known there was a bunker there before now.

“After a very long incitement and propaganda against the hospital in Gaza and many days of storming, the Israeli Army came with zero real proof for their claims of it being used as a military base.

“Not only this, they came with fabricated evidence that didn’t convince even their people and sparked wide criticism and mocking on the Israeli social media itself,” he said.

For weeks, Al-Shifa hospital in the northern Gaza Strip has been the focal point of the fight between Israel and the Palestinian militants.

Israeli officials say Hamas had been using the hospital to hide weapons and command centres – a claim denied by medical staff and the Islamist movement.

Israeli soldiers escorted journalists to the Gaza’s largest hospital Wednesday, to show them a tunnel shaft they said was part of a vast underground network Hamas uses for military purposes.

AFP said its still, video images and soundbites were submitted to the Israeli military censor for approval.

“It’s a very long tunnel,” Colonel Elad Tsury, commander of Israel’s Seventh Brigade, told reporters.

“The tunnel goes from the city to the hospital.”

The soldier led reporters through what looked like a kitchenette with a sink, a toilet and a room with two metal beds and a wall-mounted air conditioner.

“When they are trying to survive, they go down, use hospitals as human shields and they can stay here for a long time.”

The reporters were not taken inside the hospital and allowed to see only a portion of the sprawling complex.

Outside the hospital, the military displayed guns, ammunition and explosives they said were found in the Al-Shifa complex.

However, Ambassador Shawesh debunked all the claims, calling for the constitution of an international independent enquiry council to investigate the claims.

He also expressed concern that the West and Israel were not ready to enforce the two-state solution to the niggling conflict between Palestine and Israel.

He expressed dismay that Israel and the United States in particular were frustrating all efforts to implement the two-state solution as declared by the United Nations.

“They (the West and Israel) have the ability to make the two-state a reality but they don’t want it, they are not ready for it.

“We did not get ready today, we have been ready yesterday, today and tomorrow,” the Palestine envoy said.

Speaking on the cease-fire, hostage and prisoners’ release deal, Mr Shawesh said there were more than 7000 Palestinians in Israel’s jails with over 300 of them children.

He said after over 13000 Palestinian deaths, “We don’t want to see more deaths from the two sides. We hope that all hostages can go back to their homes.”

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