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US Hellfire missiles used to strike Gaza Al-Shifa Hospital: Report

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Controversy Over US-Made Hellfire Missiles Allegedly Used in Gaza Hospital Attack

The reported use of US-made AGM-114R9X Hellfire missiles to strike Gaza's main hospital, al-Shifa, has sparked controversy and condemnation. These allegations, if true, raise serious concerns about the targeting of civilian infrastructure and the humanitarian impact of such actions. The use of lethal missiles with rotating blades that can decapitate anyone within a three-foot radius represents a significant departure from conventional explosive weaponry, potentially exacerbating civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.

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Devastating Impact on Essential Medical Services

The AGM-114R9X Hellfire missile, known for its precision and reduced collateral damage, is designed for use against specific targets while minimizing harm to surrounding areas. However, its reported use in an urban environment, particularly against a hospital housing patients, medics, and displaced people, challenges the ethical and legal principles governing the conduct of warfare. The alleged attacks on al-Shifa Hospital, including the targeting of outpatient clinic buildings and the maternity hospital, underscore the devastating impact on essential medical services and the civilian population.

Call for Accountability and Adherence to International Humanitarian Law

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The involvement of US assets in these attacks, as suggested by a US military analyst, raises questions about accountability and adherence to international humanitarian law. The analyst's assertion that the missile was likely fired from an aerial platform, potentially a drone, further underscores the need for transparency and accountability in the use of advanced military technology. The high cost of the Hellfire missile, estimated at US$150,000 each, also highlights the financial implications of its deployment and the responsibility associated with its use.

Broad Pattern of Conflict Characterized by Civilian Casualties

The repeated targeting of al-Shifa Hospital, along with other civilian infrastructure in Gaza, reflects a broader pattern of conflict characterized by civilian casualties and widespread destruction. The reported toll of 11,100 Palestinians killed and 27,500 injured, predominantly women and children, underscores the human cost of the ongoing hostilities. The deliberate targeting of hospitals, schools, mosques, and refugee camps, as well as the imposition of a "complete siege" on the coastal territory, further exacerbates the humanitarian crisis and raises concerns about potential war crimes.

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