Israel Defense Forces on Saturday released evidence that Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, is the headquarters for the Hamas terror organization.
In a briefing for the foreign press, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said that Hamas maintains several complexes under Shifa Hospital, which it uses for planning and directing operations against Israel.
“Hamas uses hospitals as terror infrastructures,” Hagari stated at the beginning of his briefing.
“Hamas has turned hospitals into command-and-control centers and hideouts for Hamas terrorists and commanders,” Hagari added.
He again accused Hamas of using the hospital, and the civilians within as human shields.
“Hamas terrorists operate inside hospitals precisely because they know the IDF distinguishes between terrorists and civilians. Israel targets terrorists, Hamas targets Israeli civilians and Gazan civilians,” he stated.
Hagari also said Israeli intelligence indicates that there is still fuel for the hospitals but that Hamas is controlling the use of the fuel.
The UN and other NGOs have claimed that Gaza hospitals are without sufficient fuel to provide basic services.
However, on Oct. 16, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) posted to social media, claiming that their workers were forced out of a facility and that supplies were removed. The post was deleted shortly after.
The UNRWA posted another tweet, claiming that the reports of the theft were false, despite the UNRWA official account being the primary source of those reports.
UNRWA deleted this tweet thread, but UN sources and Israeli officials tell me the incident did happen pic.twitter.com/U130PAWZWp— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) October 16, 2023
According to Hagari, the tunnel complex can be reached from within the hospital, or via other underground entrances.
The IDF also shared more extensive intelligence regarding the use of hospitals as terror complexes with foreign intelligence services. Hagari said the other intelligence services have accepted Israel’s intel.
Hamas operates within and hides beneath the largest hospital in Gaza.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 27, 2023
Their priorities are clear—and the people of Gaza are not among them. pic.twitter.com/7M4ZqjFyYs
The IDF also published video clips of two interrogations of terrorists who participated in the massacres in Israel’s south on Oct. 7.
In the clips, one of the terrorists admits that the tunnels and operation rooms are located under hospitals, including the Shifa Hospital.
The IDF released a simulated video of the tunnel complexes based on their gathered intelligence.
While the tunnels under Gaza predate the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the initial tunnels were poorly constructed smuggling tunnels, meant to skirt import restrictions from Egypt.
After the Hamas takeover in 2007, Hamas began building larger tunnels using concrete, complete with pipes for running electricity. These tunnels were used to try to infiltrate Israel in the past, including in 2006, with the capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The tunnels were also used to avoid Israeli surveillance of Hamas activities, such as movement of operatives and equipment.
Following the Oct. 7 invasion, it was revealed that Hamas had run telephone lines in the tunnels, for purposes of communication, without being discovered by Israel cell phone tapping systems.
Izzat al-Rishq, a senior member of the Hamas political arm, disputed the claims made by the IDF.
“There’s no basis in truth in what the spokesman of the enemy army stated,” Rishq said.
Instead, He accused Israel making accusations to “pave the way for a new massacre to be committed against our people.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.