(photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
Palestinians are unlikely to make use of an IDF field hospital being set up at the Erez border crossing, a source in Gaza with knowledge of the matter told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Palestinians are unlikely to avail themselves of the facility being set up by the Israeli military both for security reasons and out of anger at the IDF due to the rising death toll.
“It's like killing them with one hand and treating them with the other,” the source said, adding that “maybe there will be interior security from the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] who will start asking people question about the armed resistance. This is one of the reasons that would prevent people from going and asking for medical treatment from the IDF.”
Popular opinion in Gaza is in principal opposed to accepting Israeli aid, he explained, asking why Palestinians should accept help when the IDF is “killing my children with internationally prohibited artillery shelling that spreads millions of deadly nails that kill every human being it faces.”
While critically wounded Palestinians would possibly accept Palestinian Authority brokered transfers to Israeli civilian hospitals, anyone treated by the IDF would likely be viewed with suspicion and subsequently subjected to questioning by Hamas.
The IDF announced that the field hospital, which was slated to open at eight in the evening, includes an emergency clinic, pediatrician and gynecology services and a delivery room.
A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that it is unsure if Hamas will allow any injured Palestinians to be treated at Erez.
“You cannot know how many patients will end up in the hospital,” said Major Guy Inbar. “I remind you that during Operation Cast Lead a field hospital was also established and Hamas refused to allow patients to pass.”
The IDF Medical Corps is prepared to expand the field hospital’s operations to treat an influx of patients greater than expected, he said, adding that the transfer of patients to Israeli hospitals could be arranged.
Upwards of sixty six people were killed in clashes between Hamas terrorists and IDF soldiers in the Shujaiyya neighborhood on Sunday, with residents accusing the Israeli army of committing a “new massacre” there, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
Jerusalem has blamed Hamas for Palestinian civilian casualties, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating that by targeting civilians and “hiding behind civilians,” Hamas is committing a “double war crime.”
The IDF stated that despite dropping leaflets warning civilians to evacuate areas to be targeted, “Hamas told Palestinian civilians to ignore our warnings. Hamas encouraged them to be human shields.”