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Italian journalist confirms the presence of Hamas command and control center under Shifa Hospital

Shifa Hospital complex during the Israeli ground operation around the hospital, in Gaza City November 12, 2023. (Photo: Ahmed El Mokhallalati/via REUTERS)

An Italian journalist and a British doctor who worked at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City have both independently confirmed that the hospital has been used for “non-medical” purposes.

Israel Defense Forces reported that Shifa Hospital houses a major Hamas control and command base.

The Italian journalist told the Times of Israel that, in 2009, upon arriving at Al-Shifa Hospital to interview wounded members of the Fatah party, he came almost face-to-face with the Hamas command and control center beneath the hospital.

“Shifa is a very large compound. I got lost inside it, and at some point, I ended up on an underground floor, and I found myself in front of two armed Hamas men in military attire, who told me to get out,” the journalist said.

“I got the impression they were guarding a security door that gave access to their underground infrastructure. Several Palestinian sources I spoke with later on confirmed that Hamas’s command and control center was located under Shifa Hospital and that [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh had been hiding there throughout the duration of Operation Cast Lead.”

Similarly, the British doctor who worked at Shifa three years ago said he had been warned against going to a certain part of the hospital.

“When I was first asked to work there [at Shifa], I was told there was a part of the hospital I was not to go near, and if I did, I’d be in danger of being shot,” the doctor said.

“I stayed away, but I saw a few dodgy-looking, non-medical characters going in and out all the time. It was a ward leading to a basement. As I said, I didn’t go there; so I behaved myself."

Over the past few days, the IDF has found multiple evidence of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure within and beneath the Al-Shifa Hospital complex. The IDF uncovered an extensive terrorist tunnel with a 180-ft tunnel shaft, at the bottom of a 33-ft deep staircase containing different means of defense, including a blast door with a firing port to keep Israeli forces from entering the tunnel.

The IDF also discovered a functioning headquarters, with weapons and technological gear. The combat gear, along with “specialized technical devices” and other Hamas military equipment were found in the MRI section, whereas the Hamas operational headquarters and technological resources were found in another ward inside the hospital.

“We see the presence of Hamas in all hospitals, it is a clear presence. They make cynical use of the hospitals, like here in the heart of Shifa,” Maj.-Gen. Yaron Finkelman, head of the IDF Southern Command, affirmed on Friday.

In addition, on Sunday evening, the IDF released CCTV video footage from Shifa Hospital showing terrorists bringing a Nepalese and Thai civilian into the building on Oct. 7. 

“The findings prove beyond any doubt that buildings in the hospital compound serve as infrastructure for Hamas for terrorist activity," according to the IDF statement.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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