by: Ilse Strauss
Monday, 20 November 2023 | The truth will come out, they say. And so it did.
Last night, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released the proof to back up its claims that Hamas’s fortified underground command center lies burrowed under Gaza’s largest hospital.
Adding to the body of evidence, Israel’s military also released confirmation that the terror group governing the Gaza Strip used the Al-Shifa Hospital as a base of operations during the October 7 massacre.
CCTV footage captured by security cameras within the hospital reveals Hamas terrorists—automatic weapons slung over their shoulders—bringing two hostages into the facility. Further footage shows Israeli vehicles captured by Hamas entering the hospital through the main gate on October 7.
“These findings add to previous evidence presented regarding Hamas’ use of the hospital area as infrastructure for its terrorist activities in a systematic and ongoing manner,” the military said in a statement.
The Shifa Hospital has been the focal point of Israel’s war with Hamas in the aftermath of the worst tragedy in Jewish history since the Holocaust, in which terrorists murdered some 1,200 people and took over 200 hostages. The reason for the spotlight is Israel’s conviction that the beating heart of the terror entity lies under the 1,400-bed military facility. And if the aim of Operation Swords of Iron is the destruction of Hamas, it stands to reason that Israel will have its sights set on Hamas’s headquarters.
Now there’s concrete proof of Israel’s claims.
What Lies Beneath
Five days after the first Israeli troops entered the hospital, the military said in a statement, “IDF troops exposed a 55-meter-long [180-ft.] terror tunnel 10 meters [33 ft.] deep underneath the Shifa hospital complex.”
According to the IDF, the shaft entrance was discovered under a shed near the Shifa building next to a booby-trapped Hamas pickup truck similar to those the terror group used in the October 7 attacks, containing weapons such as anti-tank missiles, explosives and AK-47 rifles. The entrance featured a number of defense mechanisms such as a blast-proof door and a firing hole, installed by Hamas to prevent Israeli forces from entering.
“For weeks we’ve been telling the world about Hamas’s cynical use of the residents of the Gaza and patients of Shifa Hospital as human shields. Here is more proof,” the statement read.
The IDF also released footage of International Spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht standing at the edge of the shaft—with the fully lit and operational Qatari wing of the Shifa Hospital as the backdrop. “Tonight, we found the first very sophisticated shaft,” he explains, as the camera pans to rows of ammunition discovered at the hospital. “It is important to show that we found the first shaft here inside the perimeter of the hospital,” he concludes.
The Ties that Bind
In a separate statement, the IDF also revealed last night that Hamas held at least three of the estimated 240 hostages at the Shifa facility. As proof, the military presented surveillance camera footage from the hospital showing armed Hamas terrorists bringing a Nepali and Thai citizen abducted in Israel into the hospital. The footage—timestamped October 7, between 10:42 a.m and 11:01 a.m.—shows one wounded hostage brought in on a hospital bed, while a second is seen with his light blue t-shirt wedged over his eyes being dragged into the hospital under duress.
Additional footage taken from Shifa surveillance cameras clearly shows Hamas terrorists—a number of them fully armed—at home on the premises, roaming the halls and guarding the hostages’ rooms, as well as looted IDF vehicles driving into the hospital compound.
The army also claims that Hamas murdered a third hostage, 19-year-old Cpl. Noa Marciano, at Shifa hospital. Marciano was reportedly injured in an Israeli airstrike on October 9, two days after she was abducted from the Nachal Oz military base where she was serving.
An independent preliminary pathological report showed that Marciano’s injuries were not life-threatening, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari revealed.
However, according to Israeli intelligence, Marciano was taken to Shifa Hospital, where “she was murdered quickly,” Hagari said.
“Hamas murdered Noa inside Shifa Hospital,” a visibly shaken Hagari reiterated. “We did not reach Noa in time. This only makes the IDF more determined to do everything in our power to bring all of our hostages home.”
Marciano’s body was found by IDF troops adjacent to the Shifa Hospital.
“These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the massacre as terrorist infrastructure,” the military statement said.
Perhaps COGAT, the unit responsible for implementing the civilian policy toward the Gaza Strip, summarized the situation best in a video clip following the IDF’s revelation: “The story of Shifa Hospital is a bit like the larger story of Gaza. A place that’s supposed to take care of people, to provide them with health, safety and treat them with dignity. Instead, Hamas undermines everything by militarizing civilian facilities with tunnels, weapons and terror.”
More to the point still. Award-winning Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh highlights one factor that keeps the Palestinian people enslaved. “Venal leadership has always been the main tragedy of the Palestinians.”
Posted on November 20, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 20, 2023)
Photo Credit: Israeli Defense Forces Spokesperson's Unit/Wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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