Israel has released video of what appears to be weapons and military capabilities inside of Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, which Israeli forces raided this week after claiming the medical facility was the site of a major Hamas operation.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus toured al-Shifa in a video posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and pointed to apparent piles of Hamas weapons inside of the hospital and behind MRI machines.
“A few of the most interesting things we have found, totally confirm without a doubt, that Hamas systematically uses hospitals in their military operations,” Conricus said. “What we have found I think is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Conricus also said Israel found a laptop in an MRI room used by Hamas officials to store intelligence inside of al-Shifa. The laptop also contained the image of an Israeli hostage who was taken by Hamas but later rescued, according to Conricus.
The IDF fought Palestinian militant groups around al-Shifa for days before announcing in the early morning hours Wednesday that it was carrying out a targeted and precise operation inside the complex.
The hospital is one of several across Gaza City that has come under fire from Israel, which accuses Hamas of using medical facilities for military command sites, turning them into lawful targets under the laws of war.
Hamas and Palestinian health officials under the group’s control deny the charges.
“How can there be a control … center in the Al-Shifa Complex,” wrote the Palestinian Health Ministry on Facebook. “It is observed by reconnaissance aircraft around the clock, as it did not witness any confrontation during the invasion of the occupation, which reveals the false American and Israeli narrative.”
The Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, also accused Israel of arresting engineers at the hospital that keep the place running and said troops have vandalized medical equipment.
The U.S. shared declassified intelligence Tuesday, just hours before the al-Shifa raid, that Washington said indicates Hamas is operating inside of hospitals, including al-Shifa.
The U.S. has denied signing off on any military operation such as the one unfolding inside of al-Shifa.
The fighting in Gaza City, the stronghold of Hamas, has brought hospitals to the brink as they struggle to keep the lights on and access basic necessities such as food and water. Civilians and patients have also fallen under the crossfire of the fighting.
Thousands of people are reportedly trapped inside of al-Shifa, including babies in incubators who cannot easily be moved.
Human rights groups and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for an immediate end to fighting at health care facilities and are raising the alarm about the increased danger to patients and civilians seeking shelter from the war.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, on Wednesday said, “Hospitals are not battlegrounds.”
“Even if health facilities are used for military purposes, the principles of distinction, precaution, proportionality always apply,” he said. “International humanitarian law must be respected.”
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