The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released a video showing Hamas weapons and military capabilities inside Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, which was raided by Israeli forces amid claims it was being used as a major Hamas base. The IDF claims to have found evidence of Hamas’ systematic use of hospitals for military operations, including a laptop used for intelligence and an image of a rescued Israeli hostage. The move has been criticized by human rights groups and the World Health Organization, who call for an immediate end to fighting at healthcare facilities and highlight the increased danger to patients and civilians; thousands of people are reportedly trapped inside the hospital, which is under fire from Israeli forces.
Israel Discovers Alleged Hamas Operation in Gaza Hospital
After a raid by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), video footage reveals alleged weapons and military capabilities housed in Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa. The IDF accused the hospital of being a key Hamas operation site. IDF’s official video shows Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus pinpointing potential piles of Hamas weaponry within the hospital and behind MRI machines.
“Hamas systematically uses hospitals in its military operations,” stated Conricus, who also discovered a laptop used by Hamas officials for intelligence storage within an MRI room at al-Shifa. The laptop contained the image of an Israeli hostage, who was later rescued.
Hospital Used in Hamas Military Operations
Prior to the precise operation inside the complex, IDF had been engaging with Palestinian militant groups around al-Shifa. Israel alleges that Hamas uses medical facilities as military command sites, rendering them lawful war targets. These charges are denied by Hamas and the Palestinian health officials under their control.
The Palestinian Health Ministry rebuffed the allegations, suggesting that any military hub within the hospital would be observed by reconnaissance aircraft. They also accused Israel of arresting key hospital engineers and damaging medical equipment.
U.S. Shares Declassified Intelligence
Just hours before the al-Shifa raid, the U.S. released declassified intelligence suggesting Hamas operations within hospitals, including al-Shifa. They denied sanctioning any military operation, such as the one conducted at al-Shifa.
Conflict in Gaza City, a Hamas stronghold, has pushed hospitals to the brink, with civilians and patients caught in the crossfire, and thousands reportedly trapped inside al-Shifa. Human rights groups and the World Health Organization (WHO) are urgently calling for an end to hostilities at health care facilities.
WHO Director-General Calls for Respect of Humanitarian Law
“Hospitals are not battlegrounds,” stressed Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, in a recent statement. He underscored the importance of international humanitarian law, emphasizing the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality even if health facilities are used for military purposes.