Jerusalem, Nov 13: Israeli President Isaac Herzog has claimed that a copy of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" translated in Arabic was found on the body of a Hamas militant in northern Gaza.
The President told the BBC on Sunday night that the Nazi leader's antisemitic manifesto was found "just a few days ago" in a children's room that had been "turned into a military operation base of Hamas".
Herzog also said that the militant "even wrote notes (on the book) and marked and learnt again and again Adolf Hitler's ideology of hating the Jews, killing the Jews".
In the BBC interview when the President was asked about the Israeli attacks on the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Herzog denied the forces were striking the largest facility in the besieged enclave, adding that "everything is operating".
Earlier on Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had lost communication with its contacts at Al-Shifa, with staff and patients trapped by fighting outside. Doctors and the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza have said a lack of fuel there means patients cannot be operated on and incubators for premature babies cannot run.
But the president disputed the claim. "We deny this at all, there is a lot of spin by Hamas... but there's electricity in Shifa, everything is operating," Herzog told the BBC. Israel has maintained that Hamas has a base underneath the hospital building. But the militant group has repeatedly denied this allegation.
Also when asked about growing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, Herzog asserted Israel's right to defend itself after the October 7 Hamas attack. "We of course listen to our allies, but first and foremost, we defend ourselves," he told the BBC
While acknowledging that there were civilian deaths in Gaza, Herzog said his country's operations in Gaza were carried out "according to the rules of international humanitarian law", with Israel alerting civilians with phone calls and text messages, and urging them to evacuate from northern Gaza and "go down (to southern Gaza)". "We give them humanitarian pauses so that they can go down," the President told the BBC.
As of Monday morning, 11,078 people have been killed in Gaza since the hostilities began on October 7, with Israel recording 1,200 fatalities and 172 in the West Bank.