The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday released surveillance camera footage from Shifa Hospital showing Hamas terrorists bringing a Nepali and Thai citizen who were abducted from Israel on October 7 to the medical center in Gaza City, and accused the Palestinian terror organization of murdering a kidnapped Israeli soldier there.
It also shared new footage of the underground network of tunnels and bunkers it says is buried under the hospital, as Israeli forces continue to operate in and around the facility. The army says Hamas uses Shifa and other hospitals as protection for its terror activity, and has specifically singled out Shifa as a key underground operations center for the group.
Israeli officials have been intent on producing evidence of Hamas’s misuse of Shifa to the world, to back up their assertions that the terror organization uses civilians and civilian infrastructure to shield itself, and thus shore up support for Israel’s ongoing offensive.
The three hostages featured in the IDF’s Sunday briefing were among over 240 people seized in the Palestinian terror group’s onslaught six weeks ago, when Hamas-led terrorists breached the Gaza border under the cover of heavy rocket fire and killed some 1,200 people — most of them civilians — as they rampaged through southern communities and a music festival.
Israel declared war on Hamas in response, launching an aerial campaign and a subsequent ground offensive that is aimed at toppling the Gaza-ruling terror group and securing the release of the hostages. The ground operation, in which 63 soldiers have been killed, has concentrated on northern Gaza but is expected to expand to the Strip’s south in the future stages of the war.
Over the past week, the military has been operating in and around Shifa, uncovering what it has said is evidence of Hamas’s use of the site for terrorist activities. The IDF has said it was working to evacuate as many patients as possible from the compound.
In the footage published Sunday by the military, one of the hostages is visibly wounded in his arm and is brought in on a hospital bed, while the second is forcefully dragged into the hospital on his feet.
“These findings prove that the Hamas terror organization used Shifa Hospital on the day of the massacre itself as terror infrastructure,” the IDF said.
The IDF said it had notified “relevant authorities” about the footage.
Further images released by the IDF from the surveillance cameras at Shifa showed Hamas terrorists inside the hospital and outside the rooms of the hostages, as well as stolen IDF vehicles brought to the medical center.
The army also released an infographic showing the locations near the Shifa complex where the bodies of hostages Yehudit Weiss and Cpl. Noa Marciano were found several days ago.
According to IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Marciano was wounded by an IDF strike on November 9, while held in Gaza, and later taken to Shifa, where she was murdered.
“Noa was kidnapped to an apartment next to Shifa Hospital. During the IDF strikes in Gaza, a Hamas terrorist who was holding her was killed,” Hagari said Sunday during a daily press briefing.
“The pathology report states that Noa was injured by the strike, but not in a life-threatening manner, and this is contrary to the lies published by Hamas according to which Noa was killed by IDF strikes,” he said.
“According to intelligence information, Noa was taken inside the walls of Shifa Hospital, where she was murdered by a Hamas terrorist,” he added.
The IDF also released a video of the 7th Armored Brigade’s commander, Col. Elad Tzuri, showing the location where Marciano’s body was found.
The commander of the 7th Armored Brigade, Col. Elad Tzuri, shows the location where the body of Cpl. Noa Marciano was found. pic.twitter.com/PIoGh2ww57
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 19, 2023
Additionally, the IDF together with the Shin Bet security agency released new footage showing part of Hamas’s tunnel network underneath Shifa. The clips were taken from two separate devices that were lowered into a tunnel entrance discovered by the IDF on Thursday in the Shifa complex.
The IDF has said for weeks that a major network of tunnels and bunkers exists under Shifa, but Sunday’s footage was the first clear underground footage revealing a part of that infrastructure.
The tunnel shaft had been located on the hospital grounds under a canopy, where IDF troops had also found a Hamas pickup truck with weapons in it, similar to those used by the terror group in the October 7 attacks.
The new videos showed the tunnel shaft has a winding staircase from around three meters deep, continuing down for another seven meters until it reaches part of the tunnel network. The tunnel continues for five meters, before turning to the right and continuing for another 50 meters.
At the end of the tunnel, the footage reveals a blast door with what the IDF said was a gunhole for Hamas to shoot through.
“This type of door is used by the Hamas terror organization to block the ability of our forces to enter the organization’s headquarters and underground assets,” the IDF said.
“The findings prove beyond all doubt that buildings in the hospital complex are used as infrastructure for the Hamas terror organization, for terror activity. This is further proof of the cynical use that the Hamas terror organization makes of the residents of the Gaza Strip as a human shield for its murderous terror activities,” the IDF added.
The IDF and Shin Bet said they were continuing to operate at Shifa to expose Hamas’s tunnel network in the area.
Along with Shifa, Israel accuses Hamas of using other hospitals in the Strip for terror purposes, including Gaza City’s Rantisi, where a video published Sunday by Hamas showed three armed terror operatives running into after apparently spotting Israeli forces there.
Hamas described the trio as “martyrdom fighters,” possibly indicating they had suicide vests.
The video showed two blasts, the first apparently following an RPG fired by Hamas at the hospital building, while the origin of the second was unclear.
The IDF has previously shown evidence of Hamas suicide vests found in the Gaza Strip.
— roi kais • روعي كايس • רועי קייס (@kaisos1987) November 19, 2023
Also Sunday, the Shin Bet and IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 504 — which specializes in HUMINT (human intelligence) — said they arrested more than 100 terror operatives in the Gaza Strip in recent days, including members of Hamas’s Nukhba forces who participated in the October 7 onslaught.
A joint Shin Bet and IDF statement said forces have been carrying out interrogations of suspects in Gaza, and have taken more than 100 operatives for questioning in Israel.
It said members of Hamas’s Nukhba forces, rocket array, sniper array, explosive experts and logistics officers were arrested, and in their interrogation, they provided information on the locations of the terror group’s tunnels and weapons caches.
The Shin Bet and IDF said the detainees also provided information on Hamas’s operating methods.
“The information from the interrogations of the terror operatives serves the forces operating on the ground and from the air in the Gaza Strip and is used to [provide them with] high-quality and up-to-date intelligence, which helps the continuation of the ground maneuver and fighting efforts,” it said.
Earlier Sunday, the IDF announced that it had stepped up overnight airstrikes as ground forces began maneuvering deeper into northern Gaza.
In an apparent sign of the extent of Israel’s advance, video footage circulating on social media showed dozens of Israeli flags along the beach in the Strip, with a voice heard saying “Independence Day came early this year.”
כל עזה דגלי ישראל ???????? pic.twitter.com/NLlWjyv4hF
— יענקי כהן | Yanki Coen (@yankicoen) November 19, 2023
As the military secures its control over Gaza City, it has begun warning residents of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis to evacuate, indicating that the ground operation will likely expand to those areas of the Strip in the days and weeks to come.
The military announced humanitarian pauses in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday to enable Palestinians to evacuate to the south.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry claims that 13,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war on October 7, including at least 5,500 children and 3,500 women. The figures provided by the terror group cannot be independently verified and do not differentiate between civilians and Hamas operatives, and also do not distinguish those killed by Israeli airstrikes and those killed by failed Palestinian rocket launches.
The UN has warned that Gaza’s 2.3 million people are running critically short of food and water, and said the amount of fuel being provided is only half of the daily minimum requirement. Israel says Hamas has plundered Gaza’s resources, including fuel, and has expressed concern this will continue and let the terror group continue powering its rockets and tunnel network.
Israel has resisted calls for a ceasefire unless a significant number of the some 240 hostages abducted on October 7, including all women and children, are released in exchange. There has also been concern that an extended pause in the fighting would allow Hamas and other terror groups to regroup and prepare for the next stage of fighting, impeding the IDF’s ability to operate.
Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.