Israel has claimed to have found "concrete" evidence that Gaza's biggest hospital, Al Shifa, was being used as a terrorist base. The IDF revealed evidence of weaponry, including an AK47 assault rifle, grenades, and ammunition hidden behind an MRI machine, along with what appeared to be important intelligence. The Israeli military also discovered an operational command center and other technological assets used by Hamas inside the hospital. The IDF's search, however, showed no signs of tunnels or a sophisticated command center believed to be beneath the facility.
The Israeli army released video showing soldiers carrying boxes labeled as "baby food" and "medical supplies," while health officials talked about terrified staff and patients during the Israeli operation. Israel has insisted for years that Hamas militants have used Al Shifa as a cover for their operations. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank condemned the military operation as "a crime against humanity" and challenged Israel to provide proof of their claims. The raid drew condemnation from the UN, Jordan, and the West Bank's Palestinian Authority, with the UN's chief of humanitarian affairs calling hospitals "battlegrounds."
The war between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7 and has resulted in the death of over 1,200 people and the seizure of around 240 captives by Hamas. Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 11,200 people, according to Palestinian Health Minister in Ramallah. Amidst the ongoing conflict, over two-thirds of Gaza's population have fled their homes, leading to scarce resources and a lack of fuel, electricity, and running water. The UN Security Council recently approved a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip and the "immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups."
Israel's claim of finding evidence of a terrorist base in Al Shifa is a significant development in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli Defense Forces provided visual evidence of weaponry and intelligence hidden in the hospital, supporting their long-standing assertion that militant operations were being conducted within the facility. However, the raid has drawn condemnation from various international organizations and the Palestinian Authority, raising concerns about the safety and humanitarian situation within the hospital. As the conflict continues, it is crucial to ensure the protection of civilians, especially children, and seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing violence in the region.