Conflicts & War

Israel says Hamas used Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital to hold hostages

Jerusalem, Nov 19 (EFE).- The Israel Defence Forces said Sunday that Hamas had held inside Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital some of the more than 240 hostages, civilians and soldiers, it took during its Oct. 7 attack on Israeli territory.

“New findings uncovered by the Israel Defence Forces and the Israel Security Agency prove that the Al Shifa hospital was used as a terrorist infrastructure in which Hamas terrorists took hostages,” the army said in a statement.

The report includes images allegedly taken inside Al Shifa Hospital on Oct. 7, showing Hamas militiamen carrying two of the captured civilians, a Nepalese and a Thai national. One is walking and the other is lying on a stretcher, bleeding and with his hands tied.

The army also released pictures of vehicles near the hospital that it said belonged to its troops and had been stolen by Hamas militiamen.

Israel has justified its siege and attacks on several hospitals and even ambulances in Gaza by claiming that Hamas uses these infrastructures for military purposes.

The IDF believes that Hamas has built an underground infrastructure in the area of the Al Shifa hospital, the main medical center in the Palestinian enclave, in order to establish its headquarters.

On Sunday, it claimed to have found a “fortified tunnel” 55 meters long and 10 meters deep under Al Shifa hospital.

Israel also released aerial photographs of the hospital that allegedly show “Hamas terrorist infrastructure,” including “explosives in the physiotherapy rooms, an interrogation room in the cardiology area, weapons and intelligence in the MRI center, and a tunnel shaft located near the hospital’s Cathar building.”

Al Shifa Hospital has been under siege by Israeli forces for several days, and ground forces raided the facility last week.

On Saturday, the medical center was evacuated after being completely cut off for several days without electricity, drinking water, medicine, and under the threat of an outbreak of infection from housing some 170 bodies that could not be buried or refrigerated.

Among the evacuees were thousands of displaced people and 31 premature babies who will be transferred to Egypt on Monday for proper care.

An estimated 300 people remain in Al Shifa hospital, including critical patients and medical staff.

Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7 after the Islamist group launched an attack that included rocket fire and the infiltration of some 3,000 militiamen who massacred some 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240, of whom four civilian women have been released, one soldier rescued and the remains of two people found. EFE


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