The Palestinian Hamas terror group tried to smuggle dozens of terrorists in ambulances meant to carry wounded civilians out of Gaza, before the U.S. and Egypt reviewed the list of passengers and stopped the ambulances from going through the border.
The Times of Israel reported:
Hamas tried to sneak its fighters out of the Gaza Strip in ambulances that evacuated dozens of wounded Palestinians to Egypt earlier this week, a senior Biden administration official said Friday.
Hamas had compiled a list of the seriously wounded that it wanted to evacuate from Gaza for treatment in Egypt, along with thousands of foreign nationals looking to flee the enclave.
The list was then vetted by Egypt and the United States, which found that a third of the names on it were of Hamas fighters, the administration official said, adding that the list was rejected and none of the 76 wounded Palestinians who were ultimately evacuated in ambulances out of Gaza were members of the terror group.
It is not clear where the Hamas terrorists would have gone, had they successfully crossed the border into Egypt.
Hamas and other terror groups have often used ambulances to smuggle combatants and weapons, which is a war crime.
As long ago as 2002, Hamas was caught smuggling bombs in ambulances as it attempted to kill Israeli civilians during the second intifada.
Israel’s Magen David Adom, the local equivalent of the Red Cross, slammed the Palestinian Red Crescent for allowing ambulances to be misused, in violation of the laws of war, after an ambulance carrying a woman and three children was also found to be carrying explosives:
Israeli soldiers stopped a Palestinian ambulance last week near the West Bank city of Ramallah and found a 10 kg (22 lb) bomb sewn into a coat which was crammed into the mattress of a stretcher.
In a statement, MDA said it “requests the International Red Cross to intervene immediately in order to ensure that its protege, the Palestinian Red Crescent, strictly observe and respect the protective emblems, for humanitarian purposes only.”
It also called on the Palestinian Red Crescent “to refrain from harmful use of ambulances and…emblems in terrorist activities” which harmed humanitarian services carried out by both sides.
In 2011, terrorists in Iraq used an ambulance packed with explosives to attack local security officials. “The use of ambulances or other medical transport equipment bearing medical insignia for military attacks is a serious violation of the laws of war that amounts to a war crime,” Human Rights Watch said at the time.
“In addition to endangering medical personnel by casting suspicion on their neutrality, it undermines their ability to deliver urgent medical assistance to civilians and combatants on all sides of a conflict.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Friday that it had launched an airstrike on an ambulance near Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City because the vehicle was being used to carry terrorists, not the wounded.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.