Washington Post investigation found no evidence that Hamas tunnels link to Al-Shifa Hospital
12/28/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

A Washington Post investigation found that Israel lied about Hamas tunnels connecting to al-Shifa Hospital to justify their attack on the medical facility.

The news outlet's analysis of open-source visuals, satellite imagery and all of the publicly released Israel Defense Forces (IDF) materials found that the rooms in the hospital allegedly connected to the tunnel network discovered by IDF troops showed no immediate evidence of military use by Hamas. Moreover, none of the five hospital buildings identified by IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari appeared to be connected to the tunnel network and there is no evidence that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards.

As per the Post's article titled "The case of al-Shifa: Investigating the assault on Gaza’s largest hospital," weeks before Israel sent troops into al-Shifa Hospital, claims were made that five hospital buildings were directly involved in Hamas activities, sitting atop underground tunnels that were used by militants to direct rocket attacks and command fighters. According to Hagari's Oct. 27 briefing, assertions were backed by "concrete evidence." After the attack on Nov. 15 of the hospital, IDF released photographs and videos that served as "proof" that "terrorists" came to the hospitals to command their operations. A video published Nov. 22 even featured military men walking the viewers through an underground tunnel reportedly beneath al-Shifa.

"The IDF has published extensive, irrefutable evidence that points to the abuse of the Shifa hospital complex by Hamas for terrorism purposes, and underground terrorism activity," an IDF spokesperson told the Post. However, analysts pointed out how the said "evidence" fell short of proving that Hamas had been using the hospital as a command-and-control center. When asked if more evidence from al-Shifa would be forthcoming, the spokesperson said: "We cannot provide additional information." On Nov. 24, Israel's military announced in a statement that it had destroyed the tunnel on the hospital grounds; its forces withdrew soon after.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden's administration declassified U.S. intelligence assessments that it said bolstered Israel's claims hours before IDF troops entered the complex. American officials have stood firm behind their initial statements. "We are absolutely confident in the intelligence that Hamas was using it as a command and control node," a senior administration official who requested to be anonymous said last week. "Hamas had been holding the hostages in the hospital compound until shortly before Israel went in." (Related: Israel's indiscriminate bombings of Palestinian civilians causing rapid deterioration of West's support, Biden warns.)

"The Wall Street Journal also laundered U.S. intel claims about a Hamas command center at Al-Shifa," Aaron Mate reported on X. "They claimed to have independently 'intercepted communications' of Hamas members. This is a tried and tested U.S.-Israeli tactic in selling pro-war lies, also used for Iraq WMDs and chemical weapons allegations against the Syrian government."

Israel claims to destroy Hamas' underground tunnel system via a massive explosion

In another video released by IDF published by the Daily Mail, a large explosion in the 'Elite Quarter' of Gaza City can be seen. The military forces claimed that the blast was able to destroy a massive network of strategic underground tunnels operated by Hamas.

According to them, this had "exposed the terrorist infrastructure" under the city, revealing "bureaus belonging to Hamas' senior military and political leadership." "The network of tunnels was destroyed in a controlled manner," the IDF said in a statement shared on Telegram with the footage. IDF also alleged that the enclave is built upon extensive networks of tunnels used by Hamas and that Gaza's de facto government is using human shields. Hamas denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, the military ordered tens of thousands of residents to leave their homes in Burej, an urban refugee camp, and surrounding communities, also in the south.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 20,000, according to health officials, the latest indication of the staggering cost of the war as Israel expanded its ground offensive and ordered tens of thousands more people to leave their homes. Some 85 percent of the 2.3 million population has now been displaced by Israel's bombing campaign, with civilians ordered in October to evacuate the north and head south before being told to evacuate the south. But despite the calls for a ceasefire, Israel has indicated it plans to further expand its ground offensive.

Check out WWIII.news to read more about the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Sources for this article include:





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