Israel is urgent its case that Hamas is utilizing hospitals as cowl, releasing a pair of movies from inside Gaza’s most important youngsters’s hospital that confirmed weapons and explosives purportedly discovered within the medical heart, and a room the place the navy stated hostages have been saved.
Whereas the Well being Ministry in Gaza, which is run by Hamas, on Tuesday disputed almost each assertion made within the preliminary Israeli video, it acknowledged that the footage was taken from inside Al-Rantisi Specialised Hospital for Kids in northern Gaza. The remaining sufferers and workers are believed to have left the hospital over the weekend after it was surrounded by Israeli forces.
U.S. intelligence helps the Israeli allegation of Hamas working inside and beneath hospitals, a Nationwide Safety Council spokesman stated on Tuesday.
Israeli troops entered shortly thereafter, and took movies that the navy launched on Monday and Tuesday as a part of a marketing campaign to steer skeptics that Hamas had turned hospitals into secure homes and command facilities and has constructed tunnels beneath them.
“This isn’t the final hospital like this in Gaza, and the world ought to know that,” stated Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli navy’s chief spokesman. “It’s a criminal offense.”
Within the first of the movies, a six-minute presentation launched on Monday, Admiral Hagari walks viewers by what he says was discovered within the basement of the hospital. The Israeli navy adopted that on Tuesday with a second video, simply over two minutes lengthy, posted on X, previously Twitter. That video purports to point out troops dashing into the constructing and showing to seek out explosives, weapons and the room the place Admiral Hagari stated hostages have been saved.
Each movies contained a sequence of assertions that would not be independently verified. The primary contains well-displayed proof — weapons, explosives and different weaponry all organized as if by police displaying the haul from a drug raid — whose provenance equally couldn’t be confirmed.
The second, although, exhibits troops in motion showing to seek out the weaponry that may be showcased within the longer video.
Osama Hamadan, a Hamas spokesman, talking at a information convention from Beirut on Tuesday known as Admiral Hagari’s presentation a “lie and charade.” There was no speedy remark from Gazan officers or Hamas on the second video.
Monday’s video included footage of a bit of paper taped to a wall within the hospital’s basement. Admiral Hagari stated the paper — a grid with Arabic phrases and numbers inside every sq. — might be a schedule for guarding hostages “the place each terrorist writes his identify.”
The paper included a mark that seemed to be an illegible signature, however didn’t appear to in any other case embody folks’s names — the Arabic phrases have been days of the week and numbers beneath dates. The Gazan Well being Ministry stated in an announcement that the paper, together with days and dates, was nothing greater than “a daily work shift timetable, an ordinary administrative apply in hospitals.”
The ministry, nonetheless, failed to deal with one key element: The calendar begins on Oct. 7, the day of the Hamas terrorist assault on Israel, and an Arabic title written on the high makes use of the militants’ identify for the assault: “Al Aqsa Flood Battle, 7/10/2023.”
Dr. Mustafa Al Kahlout, the hospital’s director, stated on Tuesday that households fleeing Israeli bombardment have sought shelter at Al-Rantisi and different Gazan hospitals. He known as on the Crimson Cross and different worldwide organizations to “examine all a part of the hospitals.”
The video launched on Monday by the Israeli navy opens with Admiral Hagari standing a couple of hundred yards from Al-Rantisi. Talking in English, he factors out what he says is the home of a senior Hamas chief, a faculty subsequent door and a pile of rubble below which there’s the doorway to a tunnel that purportedly runs towards the hospital.
The video then cuts to Admiral Hagari inside what he says is the hospital basement. He enters a room with youngsters’s drawings on blue and pink partitions. Neatly laid out on the ground is an array of weapons that he says have been discovered within the hospital.
Admiral Hagari then exhibits what he says is an space linked to the hospital basement the place hostages taken within the Oct. 7 assault have been purportedly held.
There’s a windowless room with couches and curtains protecting naked partitions the place he says hostage movies might be made. There’s a chair with a rope on the ground subsequent to it, an “improvised rest room,” a child bottle and a bundle of diapers. There’s additionally a bike that he says was used to hold hostages again to Gaza.
“You don’t construct an improvised rest room within the basement, except you need to construct an infrastructure to carry hostages,” Admiral Hagari says.
As for what occurred to the hostages and Hamas fighters who have been purportedly on the hospital, he says, “They may have left with the sufferers, they could have run away by tunnels and we’ve indicators that that they had hostages with them. It’s nonetheless below investigation, however there’s sufficient indicators to point that.”
For its half, the Gazan Well being Ministry stated the basement rooms proven have been used as shelters “for these fleeing airstrikes. The lavatory proven is a necessity.”
The infant bottle and diapers have been nothing particular in a youngsters’s hospital, it stated. As for the weapons, it added: “We don’t know the place they obtained them.”