The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released a video on Wednesday that it said showed weapons at a Hamas hospital inside the Gaza Strip, amid international criticism that Israel has targeted medical facilities in its war with the terror group.
Israel, as well as many experts, have long said that Hamas uses hospitals as command centers and ammunition depots to hide its military operations, endangering civilians without regard for their safety.
IDF video shows Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus walking through an MRI center of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza after Israeli forces stormed the building.
“Some of the most interesting things we’ve found absolutely confirm, without any doubt, that Hamas is systematically using hospitals in its military operations, in violation of international law,” he said.
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As Conricus made his way through the hospital, he pointed out various caches of weapons found hidden within. Behind an MRI machine was military equipment, including an AK-47 rifle, ammunition, magazines, grenades and military uniforms, he said. A backpack containing military information was also found, he said.
More of the same were found in another MRI room. Elsewhere in the facility, troops found more rifles and ammunition inside a closet.
“These weapons have absolutely no business inside a hospital,” Conricus said. “The only reason they are here is because Hamas put them here, because they are using this place like many other hospitals and ambulances and sensitive facilities inside the Gaza Strip for their illegal military purposes.”
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In a bag found in another room, authorities found food, military equipment, ammunition magazines and an AK-47 rifle. In a locker that stores medical equipment, soldiers found another bag with Hamas military insignia and a ballistic vest.
Laptops and other electronic devices were also seized.
Shifa Hospital has received thousands of displaced Gazans since the current military conflict with Israel began last month. Israeli officials claim the facility is being used as cover by Hamas terrorists and that the group has set up its main command center under the building.
On Tuesday, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the intelligence supported Israel’s claims of Hamas activity at the hospitals.
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“I can confirm to you that we have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are using some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including al-Shifa, and tunnels under them, to hide and support their military operations and to hold hostages Kirby stated. he told reporters on Air Force One.
The remarks came as Israel faces criticism for attacks on or near hospitals in Gaza, amid its response to an October 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli border communities that killed an estimated 1,400 people, many of them civilians.