Detained terrorist estimates around 100 Hamas members were in Shifa Hospital: IDF

Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances transfer premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital, from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances transfer premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital, from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. | Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

A terrorist detained by the Israel Defense Forces estimated that he saw around 100 Hamas members and other terrorists inside the Shifa Hospital in Gaza and that some disguise themselves as medical staff, according to interrogation footage.

The Israel Defense Forces' Military Intelligence Directorate's Unit 504 conducted interviews with terrorists who were part of Hamas and other groups, with a senior official revealing this week that the unit has apprehended over 300 accused terrorists. 

Israel has repeatedly said throughout the seven-week war with Hamas that the terror group uses hospitals, schools and other civilian locations for military activity. IDF raided Shifa Hospital last week, alleging that intelligence suggested the complex was used as a command center, a claim Hamas has denied. 

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"The information that emerges from the interrogations of the terrorists is very valuable, leading to elimination of operatives and the preservation of the security of our forces," the senior official said in a statement shared online Sunday. 

One of the terrorists seen in a video released by the Israeli military admitted that he had been in the Shifa Hospital, where he said that around 50,000 were seeking refuge. 

"The doctors were furious because Hamas operatives and operatives of other terrorist organizations were inside the hospital," the terrorist said, later estimating that he saw as many as 100 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists "in the heart of the Shifa Hospital." 

"They (Hamas operatives) dressed as nursing staff, but they were not nurses or doctors," he said. "Hamas operatives dressed as medical staff in order to blend in within the hospital wards, even in the ICU."

Another video purports to show a separate interview with a Gazan resident, Hamuda Riad Asad Shalamah, who worked as an internet application engineer at the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. The father of three told the interviewers that he sought refuge at the Red Crescent building at the beginning of the war. 

According to Shalamah, the building was considered "safe and secure," and about 40,000 people took refuge there while Hamas terrorists continued to operate from inside the building. The Gazan resident said that the terrorists hid rockets and guns inside mattresses. He contends if one of the rockets exploded, it would kill around 50 people taking refuge in the building.

"No one could tell them no. Who could do so?" he asked. "If you would dare to confront a Hamas member, he may kill you." 

The man said that he believed Hamas terrorists deliberately chose the Red Crescent building because of the high number of people there, who they could use as "human shields." 

"It's obvious that the IDF would not strike a place with 40,000 people in it," he said. 

In the aftermath of Hamas' Oct. 7 attack against Israel, which resulted in 1,200 dead and the abduction of around 240 people, Israel declared war against the terror group, which has controlled Gaza since 2007. Late last month, Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza, vowing to destroy Hamas and secure the release of the hostages. 

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claims that over 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war. Gaza health officials said this week they lost the ability to count the dead in the conflict due to a collapse in its health system and inability to recover bodies. 

On Sunday, IDF said that its troops exposed a 55-meter-long tunnel 10 meters deep underneath the Shifa Hospital complex. 

"A deep staircase leads to the entrance of the tunnel shaft, which consists of various defense means including a blast-proof door and a firing hole," an IDF statement reads. 

"This type of door is used by the Hamas terrorist organization to block Israeli forces from entering the command centers and the underground assets belonging to Hamas. The tunnel shaft was uncovered in the area of the hospital underneath a shed alongside a vehicle containing numerous weapons including RPGs, explosives, and Kalashnikov rifles. IDF and ISA forces are continuing to uncover the route of the tunnel."

IDF also released footage purportedly showing Hamas terrorists bringing hostages to the Shifa Hospital between the hours of 10:42 and 11:01 a.m. on Oct. 7. In one video, multiple people push what appears to be one of the hostages through the hospital lobby, while another shows medical professionals wheeling another reported hostage through the corridor. 

The IDF also shared photos of what appear to be stolen IDF vehicles outside of the hospital. 

The IDF reported this month that it had discovered the bodies of two hostages, Yehudit Weiss and Cpl. Noa Marciano, near the Shifa Hospital. Weiss was a mother of five who worked with kindergarten children before Hamas kidnapped her from Kibbutz Be'eri on Oct. 7. Marciano served in the IDF Combat Intelligence Collection Corps and served at Nahal Oz IDF base. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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