Israel-Hamas War: The IDF said underneath the hospital, in the basement, it found a Hamas command and control centre, suicide-bomb vests, grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, explosive devices, RPGs, and other weapons, computers and money.
Tel Aviv: Amid intensified war against the terrorist organisation Hamas, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Read Adm Daniel Hagari on Tuesday said the Hamas has kept Israel hostages at a hospital basement, and it has evidence including photographs of the same. “Hamas hides in hospitals. Today, we will expose this to the world,” he added.
Giving further details, Hagari said the Israeli Navy’s elite Shayetet 13 commando unit and the 401st Armoured Brigade had raided Gaza City’s Rantisi Hospital, which treats children, and that Hamas operatives were hiding there.
“Underneath the hospital, in the basement, we found a Hamas command and control centre, suicide-bomb vests, grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, explosive devices, RPGs, and other weapons, computers, money, etc,” Hagari said.
“We also found signs that indicate that Hamas held hostages here,” he said, adding, “This is currently under our investigation,” but that the IDF has intelligence to verify it.
“Additionally, we found evidence that Hamas terrorists came back from the massacre (in southern Israel) on October 7 to this hospital, among others, after butchering Israelis in their homes,” he added.
Hagari also said that the IDF has been working to enable the safe evacuation of patients from Rantisi over the last week, as well as from other hospitals in northern Gaza.
“Israel helped the hospital managers evacuate the Gaza patients to a safer hospital,” he said, adding that the IDF has been informed that “the last 18 patients in the Rantisi Hospital had safely evacuated to a safer hospital.”
“This is because our war is against Hamas, not against the people in Gaza. Especially not the sick, the women, or the children,” IDF spokesman Hagari said.
“Our war is against Hamas, who use them as human shields,” Hagari added.
Sharing raw footage filmed some hours ago, he said this proves “that Hamas systematically runs its terror machine under hospitals in Gaza.”
In the basement of Rantisi, the footage showed a Hamas armoury with grenades, bombs, and RPGs. He highlighted the dangers to patients of explosives in hospitals. The footage also showed a motorcycle in the basement that he believes was driven here by October 7 terrorists, presumably with a hostage.
Nearby, he also portrayed what he claimed were several indications that hostages were held here, including an improvised toilet and other infrastructure to hold hostages, The Times of Israel reported.
Israeli forensic teams were on their way to the hospital to investigate the evidence, Read Adm Hagari said.
He added that the terrorists might have evacuated the hospital with the patients.
He also indicated that other Gaza hospitals were also being used by Hamas and other terrorists. “The world should know that,” he said, adding, “It’s a war crime, a crime against humanity and a crime against international law.”
“We are trying to shift the Gazans to a safe area in the south and reveal those hospitals as terror machines,” he said. “The world should know it. And the world should not forget those crimes against humanity done to Israel.
“We will free our hostages from Gaza, and free Gaza from Hamas — for the sake of the people of Israel, for the people of Gaza as well, and the world.”
The IDF spokesperson also claimed that he took some foreign correspondents with him and that they came under fire as they were leaving.
(With inputs from ANI)