The day after Israel's special forces entered the al-Shifa Hospital Complex in Gaza, the White House told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. did not approve the mission.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that Israel did not inform the U.S. of the mission ahead of time. He added that the Israel Defense Forces has not asked for U.S. input before other similar missions.
Kirby said that Hamas uses hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including al-Shifa, for tunnels to conceal and support their military operations and to hold hostage. International law provides special protection for hospitals.
"It's a violation of law to headquarter yourself in a hospital and to put innocent people at greater risk," Kirby said.
Humanitarian groups say hundreds of civilians remain in the hospital.
"We do not support striking a hospital from the air, and we do not want to see a firefight in the hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people are simply trying to get the medical care that they deserve — not to be caught in a crossfire. Hospitals and patients must be protected," Kirby told reporters.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has urged Israel and Hamas to engage in a cease-fire as Hamas continues to hold over 200 Israelis hostage over a month after a deadly terrorist attack on Israel left 1,200 dead, many of whom were civilians.
The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution Wednesday that called for an "urgent and extended humanitarian pause" in Gaza.
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