Biden accuses Hamas of war crimes by having headquarters under Al-Shifa Hospital



E-mail : *

There is this morning new reporting around a possible deal for the release of some of them US President Joe Biden says he’s mildly hopeful about the negotiations I have uh been deeply involved in moving on the uh hostage negotiation um and uh I don’t want to

Get ahead of myself here I think the pause and that isra that the Israelis have agreed to down to I’m getting too much detail I know Mr secretary I’m going to stop the uh but I am I am mly hopeful I’m mly hopeful you can hear Biden catching himself there

And sounding like he’s trying to reassure his secretary of state Anthony blinkin that he wouldn’t reveal too much at a news conference last night in San Francisco In that clip Biden says Israel is agreeing to a pause but that is not something we’ve heard from the Israeli

Government the US us is acting with katar and Egypt as a broker in talks between Israel and Hamas reports on the negotiations say the deal would include a quote inplace pause in the fighting possibly as long as 5 days something that suggests Israeli Ground Forces wouldn’t pull out of Gaza but the key

Detail reportedly involves Hamas releasing as many as 50 women and children in return for Israel’s releasing an equal number of Palestinian women and children Hamas says are being held prisoner about 240 hostages again that is the number of people believed to be held by Hamas let’s bring in Brier Stewart now

Also part of our CBC News team and Brier is in Jerusalem live with us this morning the US president Brier also spoke yesterday about the Israeli military raid on alshifa Hospital what is he saying about it now well that’s right he was asked specifically just about the fact that

The Israeli military entered the hospital the military says it’s have a targeted and precise operation in there and that is how the US president described it not surprising obviously considering that the US is a a strong Ally of Israel and the US um has has been very reluctant to talk about the

Need for any kind of of ceasefire as we’ve been talking about and so you had the IDF yesterday put out a video which they claim showed some of the weapons and uh equipment with Hamas Insignia that were found inside the hospital but there hasn’t been any kind of proof yet

Uh that there were tunnels under the hospital or any kind of Command Center which is what of course the Israeli military has been saying all along that there was uh some kind of a Hamas Hideout underneath the hospital itself that is something that us officials have been saying too that their own

Intelligence points to that President Biden was asked about the fact that Israel took the Very extreme step of going into the hospital uh to the condemnation of many International Aid groups and here’s what the president had to say you have a circumstance where the first war crime is being committed by

Hamas by having their headquarters their military hidden under a hospital and that’s a fact that’s what’s happened Israel did not go in with large number of troops did not raid did not rush everything down so that’s the we understand that the Israeli military is still at Al

Shifa but of course I mean there the offensive is playing out throughout Gaza and uh overnight there are reports that the Israeli military released pamphlets from aircraft as they do to to warn civilians about uh impending military action and they dropped leaflets in neighborhoods uh in the eastern part of

Han Yunis now that is a city in the southern part of the strip they were telling people in the Eastern neighborhoods to move to shelters uh because they were going to start uh military operations we know that there have been a number of air strikes uh in

Those areas in recent days and I can tell you that the UN commissioner for human rights voal Turk just spoke uh to the media um during his visit to the Middle East and I want to read a quote uh that he gave while talking about the situation and what he said is the

Killing of so many civilians cannot be dismissed as collateral damage the only winner of this war is likely to be extremism and he echoed what the UN Security Council voted for last night that there needs to be a multi-day pause and that all the hostages need to be

Released Brier uh this raid on the host hospital it is further inflaming tensions in the region as well what are you seeing and hearing this morning well it is and I mean tensions have been building for for quite some time and uh I would say that the the

Level of violence and clashes um had been building well before October 7th and since then it’s it’s only increased and this morning there was a a gunfire that erupted at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the Palestinian or the West Bank City of of Bethlehem and at that checkpoint there were a number of

Israelis were killed about six they were taken to the hospital and and so details about that are are still coming out but it’s just kind of one incident and we get uh alerts uh news alerts all throughout the day about various clashes between Israeli forces or Israeli settlers and and Palestinians in the

West Bank and it really is a very tense situation and I think the fear is that that as things continue and and the violence in Gaza continues uh it could flare out elsewhere Brier thank you very much again this morning Brier Stewart live in Jerusalem new video into us this morning

From Israel’s military showing the fighting in Gaza it is edited putting together images from several days it’s important you know that Israel’s military says Ground Forces now control Gaza Harbor there’s no independent verification of the claim right now but in a post on social media Israel is’s military also says Ground Forces

Destroyed 10 tunnels used by Hamas and with us this morning is one of the world’s foremost experts in tunnel Warfare Subterranean Warfare Daphne Richmond Barack is with me uh as we talk about this and she is a Subterranean War expert with reichman University and the founder of the international working

Group on Subterranean Warfare she’s in herzelia Israel this morning Welcome to our program I’m delighted to have some time with you thank you you have said in a recent interview elsewhere Hamas has perfected the art of tunnel Warfare I’d like to start there if you could explain its strategy and the advantage tunnels

Provide sure Hamas is a is a terrorist group um and it has purposefully chosen to um set up its entire military infrastructure beneath pools and mosks and and civilian dwellings and and hospitals um this is part of a strategy that is um this decades long we’re talking almost two decades and the

Reason why I said that Hamas has perfected this art is because it has integrated more and more increasingly over this decade and a half uh Subterranean Warfare into its strategy it began with smuggling channels between Gaza and Egypt and then the T these particular tunnel smuggling were been

Used for kidnapping IDF soldiers but Hamas has also U du crossb tunnels that would whose purpose is to infiltrate uh Israeli territory uh either by land or uh by sea actually so we also see land to Sea tunnels so a whole variety of of uses right incorporated into this broad

Strategy to operate undetected and ultimately also neutralize the capabilities the sophisticated and technological capabilities of the IDF so Israel’s stated goal from this war is to eradicate or decapitate Hamas for Israel to accomplish that how important then are these tunnels so the tunnels the the subterran infrastructure which is made up of made

Of tunnels and Subterranean passageways of different types and different depths and different again they serve different purposes um this is like the the oxygen of Kamas because if Kamas has to operate from the ground up from above the the surface then it will be detected and you know the int intelligence and

Surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of of Israel will will be able to know what they’re planning and where they’re going and and so um so really this is like the oxygen of the group so I believe that while it’s important to eliminate uh the leadership of the group of the terrorist group

Hamas um I feel like for the long-term security of the state of Israel right to eliminate the threat to make sure that no other operation can be planned undetected far away from the eyes of of Israel’s Army um destroying this infrastructure is truly a key objective

A key objective to destroy it but we’ve known it’s widely accepted this network is so vast as you’ve said under everything some 500 kilometers of network of tunnels is what the figure I have heard how does Israel do that then to destroy it what are its possible

Methods so first of all let’s go back to to is it possible to even know what is the the scope of this immense network of channels right how many levels and where it goes and how does it crisscross under the Gaza Strip um I think this is all

This is also a key question and Israel has been um struggling with the you know elimination of that of that Network we can see from the latest two operations uh in 2014 operation protective Ed and operation uh guardian of the walls in May 2021 Israel um inflicted a blow to

This infrastructure that we’re discussing now um but it was more in terms of like neutralizing or you know um exploding some tal entrances and exits and access points um there was not it was not really a challenge that Hamas could not overcome and it did overcome it and it did expand this infrastructure

Over time now many states have faced Subterranean threats as you’re suggesting and how do they deal with it I think it’s good to look back at history and see what happened so uh NATO and Canada was part of this um was uh in Libya and Qaddafi was using tunnels Al

Bagdadi from Isis was using tunnels and and Isis used tunnels in Syria and Iraq uh extensively so what has been done well in general states have deployed their most powerful weapons in order to deal with Subterranean threat and um that’s because this this threat is is invisible and unpredictable and so

States really have little choice but to go for the most powerful uh you know solution and make sure that they are eliminating the infrastructure so we see aerial strikes for the most part but then as far as I understand again not at all an expert in your area of of study

And knowledge but even things like dogs and robots are employed as well are they not yeah absolutely you’re you’re absolutely right they’re employed though at a different stage of the of I would say the operation right to kind of detect the tunnels to map them um that

Would be for the robots and the drones but also to clear them um the dogs can be used to make sure there are no explosives in the tunnels they are not do be trapped that uh maybe you know chemical substances are not present um it’s it’s a way to kind of ensure that

You know kind of it’s a method of force protection to make sure that if and when you do have to send your forces inside tunnels which should be a measure of Last Resort then they are protected as much as possible from a lot of booby

Traps and a lot of dangers that can you know that can happen inside the tunnels I have questions about Subterranean Warfare in general but I do want to get to a couple of questions about things we’re talking today and we’ll show you some video of this that the fighting at

Al shifa which is the largest hospital in Gaza that has become such a focal point this week professor and it’s received or Israel has received International condemnation for the fighting that has been going down on that compound uh property Israel is showing video today that says it has

Proof that uh alifa is a command center a military Hideout for Hamas what is your assessment uh of the video that we’ve seen thus far again we can’t independently verify it what what do you think of it look I I completely understand the concern we’re talking about the you know

The objects that are the most protected under International humanitarian law which I happen to actually know quite well and so um there’s something very it’s a reality very difficult to accept I think for all of us that hospital would be used you know to to to serve as

Weapons uh cast to to as as as logistical centers as as places to hold hostages I mean this is very disturbing but but when you bring it back into the context of a terrorist organization that is threatening its own population for and first and foremost right by having

All this equipment inside hospitals then it kind of like helps I think to make sense of it and Israel has been definitely we see the idea of building a case I think you’re right over the past two weeks um showing evidence about what is going on inside the hospital even

Though it’s been you know the alifa story I have to make that clear is definitely not a new story it has been you know for over 10 years we’ve known about what’s going on in alifa hospital but Israel never uh did anything about it right not in 2014 again and not in

2021 and so really this became the most protected um place to be right so Hamas exploited that and then when we see now it’s difficult to assess at the moment I I’ll tell why it’s it’s an operation that’s very much very much ongoing uh it started really yesterday the actual uh

Actions there so so I think we need to figure out what else is going on also Israel gave a very a lot of advanced warning about the fact that he was trying to come into the hospital and where it was going to come in and from

What side and what it was going to do there so it’s possible you know right now it looks abandoned and almost kind of you know impossible to use but don’t forget you know once since the infrastructure is there and it could be used again and I think it does show um

The abuse of the protection of of of medical facilities um and I believe we have to wait a little bit more to for for the IDS to expose more of of what’s going on there and more just just a quick point and know this is not a quick

Issue at all this will be the subject of lengthy investigation to discussion but you said you have a knowledge of that and indeed head of the international law desk at reichman at the institute for counterterrorism so in terms of the application of international humanitarian law you have said publicly

That it looks to you that there are violations on both sides can you just explain that as as we leave this conversation today um I I don’t know you know in what context i’ said that so so difficult to say but but right now what I can tell

You is that um the immunity that hospitals enjoy under the under the law of war is very strong it’s some of the strongest like I said they’re the most protected sit but that immunity is not absolute and it can be lost if that particular civilian site is being used

To make a contribution to a military action and so once that immunity is lost the hospital even if it’s simultaneously used for civilian purposes as a medical facility can turn into a legitimate Target and then it’s a question of proportionality advanced warning what what kind of operation you do there how

Much you’ve evacuated and so precautions that will be taken to minimize civilian harm so as you said as investigations will be looking at this this these are some of the elements they’ll be looking at not violations I should have said obligations both sides have obligations here under the laws of humanitarian laws

Of war applying to both sides and as you suggest further conversations and investigations on those points to come thank you so much for the time today I hope we’ll have another conversation again uh Daphne Richmond Barra in herzelia Israel today

U.S. President Joe Biden said Hamas committed war crimes after an Israeli military video was released showing what it claims to be weapons in a tunnel under the Al-Shifa Hospital. CBC News has not verified the video.

»»» Subscribe to CBC News to watch more videos:

Connect with CBC News Online:

For breaking news, video, audio and in-depth coverage:
Find CBC News on Facebook:
Follow CBC News on Twitter:
For breaking news on Twitter:
Follow CBC News on Instagram:
Subscribe to CBC News on Snapchat:

Download the CBC News app for iOS:
Download the CBC News app for Android:

For more than 80 years, CBC News has been the source Canadians turn to, to keep them informed about their communities, their country and their world. Through regional and national programming on multiple platforms, including CBC Television, CBC News Network, CBC Radio,, mobile and on-demand, CBC News and its internationally recognized team of award-winning journalists deliver the breaking stories, the issues, the analyses and the personalities that matter to Canadians.


Leave a Reply