The Israeli army said that Hamas used the Shifa Hospital in Gaza as “terrorist infrastructure” on the day of the 7 October attack, providing CCTV footage allegedly showing two hostages surrounded by armed Hamas members being rushed for treatment, in a post on X on 19 November.
“EXPOSED: This is documentation from Shifa Hospital from the day of the massacre […] in which hostages, a Nepalese civilian and a Thai civilian, were abducted from Israeli territory are seen surrounded by armed Hamas terrorists,” the Israeli military wrote.
These findings, it added, “prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the October 7 Massacre as terrorist infrastructure.”
Some social media users questioned these claims, saying that the video only shows wounded individuals being taken in for treatment. They also questioned why Hamas did not erase the footage if it was incriminating.
“Um. This is evidence that the hospital was being used as… a hospital,” one user wrote in response.
Others contended that there were closer hospitals Hamas could have taken the hostages to if they sought medical treatment for them.
Al-Shifa is the largest hospital in Gaza. It has been facing increasingly dire conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) described the hospital as a “death zone” in a field visit conducted on 18 November.
“Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility,” the WHO said in a statement.
Israel has repeatedly claimed that the Hamas command center lies under Al-Shifa Hospital. It posted videos it said proved its claims.
“CNN analysis of separate footage published online by the IDF prior to visits from international media outlets suggests weaponry at Al-Shifa may have been rearranged,” CNN wrote in a report on 19 November.
Under increasing public and international pressure due to what critics have described as the indiscriminate nature of its attacks, and what UN experts described as collective punishment, Israel’s claim of Al-Shifa being used as a command center has become pivotal to attempting to justify its campaign to the international community.
THE CONFLICT SO FAR
After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.
At least 12,500 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including at least 5,000 children — and over 32,000 others injured. Meanwhile, at least 183 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and more than 2,700 injured. The death toll is no longer being regularly updated due to the collapse of the enclave’s health system.
The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been deescalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.
Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.
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