ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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In interrogation video, Hamas terrorists confirm group’s hideout under Gaza hospital

One captured gunman says terror group uses tunnels under Shifa hospital to move weapons, explosives because it knows Israel won’t target site

Screen capture from video released October 28, 2023, showing a captured Hamas terrorist explaining how the Shifa hospital in Gaza City is used by Hamas as a military site. (Screenshot IDF)
Screen capture from video released October 28, 2023, showing a captured Hamas terrorist explaining how the Shifa hospital in Gaza City is used by Hamas as a military site. (Screenshot IDF)

The Israeli military released footage Saturday showing an interrogation segment of Hamas terrorists who participated in the October 7 massacre in southern Israel, where they confirm the terror group has a hideout under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

The publication of the footage came a day after Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Hamas’s main base of operations was underneath the hospital — the largest in the Gaza Strip — and provided visuals and intercepted audio as evidence of the terror organization’s activities.

The videos of the interrogations, released Saturday with English subtitles provided by the IDF, show two Hamas prisoners being questioned.

In one video, a man identified as Amar Sammy Marzuk Abu A’yoah tells his interrogator that he is from the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City and a member of the Nukhba, Hamas’s naval commando unit. A’yoah is seen explaining about the Hamas tunnel network, saying that the tunnels pass under neighborhoods but that not every area has an entrance.

Tunnels, he explains, are hidden under hospitals and says Shifa hospital has “underground levels.”

“Shifa is not small, it is a big place that can be used to hide things,” A’yoah said in the interrogation.

Hospitals, medical clinics, and facilities are exploited, he said, because Hamas knows that Israel won’t target them. The sites can be used to pass “explosives, weapons, food, medical equipment” for use by the terror group.

“Shifa is a safe place, it will not be struck. To them it is safe. That’s what we know,” A’yoah said.

He also confirmed another Israeli assertion that Hamas was hoarding fuel supplies rather than distributing them to Gazans, saying “first they [Hamas] worry about the machines and their jeeps and then they give to the people.”

A’yoah also explained that people who want to leave Gaza via Egypt can only do so with permission from Hamas.

In another video, a man identifies himself as Hassan Hassn Hassin Za’areb, a combat medic.

Za’areb says he participated in attacks on Kibbutz Sufa, a community near the Gaza border where gunmen went from house to house killing any civilians they found.

“According to what I’ve heard, the Shifa hospital, they’re using it, they’re hiding there. But I don’t know about Najar,” he says, naming another medical center in Gaza, in the city of Rafah.

On Friday, Hagari said Hamas has several underground complexes under Shifa that are used by the terror group’s leaders to direct attacks against Israel.

The military spokesperson said Israel has “concrete evidence” that “hundreds of terrorists flooded into the hospital to hide” following the October 7 massacre, in which some 2,500 terrorists burst through the border under cover of a deluge of rockets, and rampaged through more than 20 communities near the Gaza Strip. They killed some 1,400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, massacring them in their homes and at an outdoor music festival. They also abducted over 220 people to the Strip as hostages.

Hamas terror group members guard the entrance of the Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, August 26, 2020. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas over the attack while striving to avoid civilian casualties. It has carried out intensive strikes on terror targets against an expect ground incursion.

Hamas and other terror groups have continued to rain rockets on southern and central Israel causing more deaths and injuries.

According to the IDF, Hamas’s internal security also has a command center inside Shifa Hospital, from which it directs rocket fire on Israel and stores weapons.

The hospital’s energy infrastructure is also used by Hamas’s underground base, Hagari said, accusing the terror group of using the hospital and its occupants — with 1,500 beds and some 4,000 staff — as human shields.

Arab and Western officials told The New York Times over the weekend that Hamas is stockpiling food and fuel in the Gaza Strip, keeping it from residents who are in desperate need.

Israel, which usually provides fuel to Gaza, halted all transfers following Hamas’s October 7 assault on the country. It has said it will allow food, water and medical supplies — but not fuel — to enter southern Gaza from Egypt, for Palestinian civilians, as long as the supplies do not reach Hamas.

The UN has warned that hospitals and other vital services in the Palestinian territory risk shutting down without fuel deliveries.

The IDF insists that there is currently no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that it is closely monitoring the situation.

Since Israel launched air and artillery strikes on the day of the attack, over 7,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to figures released by the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry. Those numbers cannot be independently verified and include Palestinian terrorists killed by Israel as well as Palestinian civilians killed by errant rockets launched by terror groups in Gaza.

Israel says it killed 1,500 Hamas terrorists inside Israel on and after October 7.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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