Israel Accuses Hamas of Abuses at Gaza Hospital
Israel has increased its accusations of Hamas abuses at Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. The country claims that a captive soldier has been executed and two foreign hostages are being held at the hospital, which has been a target of Israel’s offensive. Al Shifa Hospital, which was once a shelter for war refugees, has been evacuating patients and staff since Israeli troops entered last week to search for hidden Hamas facilities.
Israel is also searching for the 240 people Hamas kidnapped to Gaza after a cross-border assault on October 7, which sparked the ongoing conflict. One of the kidnapped individuals was Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old Israeli army conscript, whose body was found near Shifa last week. Hamas claimed that she died in an Israeli air strike and released a video showing her corpse with a head wound. However, the Israeli military stated that a forensic examination revealed that her injuries were non-life-threatening and likely caused by an air strike.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesperson for the Israeli military, said that “solid intelligence information” indicates that Noa Marciano was taken by Hamas terrorists inside Shifa hospital and was subsequently murdered. Hagari did not provide further details on the matter. He also mentioned that Hamas gunmen had brought two foreign hostages, a Nepalese and a Thai, to the hospital, without revealing their identities.
CCTV footage shown by Hagari appeared to show a group of men forcefully escorting an individual into the hospital, surprising the medical staff. Another clip displayed an injured man on a gurney, with an armed man nearby wearing civilian clothing. Hamas has not yet commented on these statements by Hagari. The Palestinian Islamist group, which governs Gaza, has previously claimed that it took hostages to hospitals for medical treatment.
In addition, the Israeli military released a video on Sunday showcasing a tunnel that was allegedly dug by Palestinians beneath the Shifa hospital compound. The tunnel was said to be 55 meters long and located 10 meters below the surface. Hamas, however, denies that its network of tunnels is located in civilian infrastructure like hospitals.
The video depicted a narrow passage with arched concrete roofing, leading to a blast-proof door. The military did not disclose what was beyond the door. According to the statement, the tunnel was accessed through a shaft found in a shed within the Shifa compound that contained munitions. Another video displayed an outdoor shaft-opening within the compound.
Mounir El Barsh, the director of the Gaza health ministry, dismissed the Israeli statement regarding the tunnel as a “pure lie.” He argued that Israeli forces have been at the hospital for eight days and have not found any evidence to support their claims.
The situation at Al Shifa Hospital remains tense, with both sides making conflicting allegations. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas shows no signs of abating, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen.