IDF: Hamas is firing from inside the Shifa Hospital Emergency Room and Maternity Ward

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, March 20, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, March 20, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari in an English-language video statement says Hamas is “destroying Shifa Hospital,” as the military operates against the terror group at the medical center, the largest in the Gaza Strip.

“170 terrorists were neutralized in or around the Shifa Hospital compound while firing at our forces. The IDF apprehended hundreds of terror suspects with confirmed ties to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, making this one of the most successful operations since the start of the war,” Hagari says.

“A large number of these terrorists were involved in planning and executing the brutal massacre of October 7,” he says.

Hagari says the “operation is not over.”

“Right now, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists are barricading themselves inside Shifa hospital wards. Hamas is destroying Shifa Hospital,” he says.

“Hamas is firing from inside the Shifa Emergency Room and Maternity Ward and throwing explosive devices from the Shifa Burn Ward. Terrorists hiding around the hospital fired mortars at our forces, causing extensive damage to the hospital buildings,” Hagari continues.

“I repeat: Hamas is firing mortars at the Shifa hospital. Hamas is destroying the Shifa hospital. Hamas hijacked the Shifa Hospital and hides behind the sick and injured, waging war from inside Shifa Hospital,” he says.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari delivers an English-language video statement, March 24, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Hamas has claimed that at least 13 patients have died during the ongoing IDF raid, alleging that they were deprived of medication or that their ventilators stopped working after Israeli forces cut the hospital’s electricity, The New York Times reported.

Hagari says that the IDF “operates with precision and acts with care towards the patients and medical staff inside the hospital.”

“We do this because we distinguish between Hamas terrorists and the civilians they are hiding behind,” he says.

A Palestinian man lies on the ground as he awaits medical attention at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on March 15, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by AFP)

“We do this because our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza, and our actions prove this,” Hagari continues.

“Since the beginning of this operation against Hamas at Shifa Hospital, the IDF has assisted the sick and wounded and helped move many of them out of harm’s way,” he says.

“We brought dozens of medical devices; over 10 thousand units of medications; hundreds of medical supplies; as well as food, water and other equipment into Shifa Hospital. When Hamas’s attacks resulted in the failure of the hospital generator, our troops helped restore electricity to the hospital,” Hagari says.

“Our operation at Shifa Hospital proves once again: Hamas systematically uses hospitals to wage war and consistently uses the people of Gaza as human shields,” he adds.

Aid delivered by IDF troops to a designated compound at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in a handout image released March 23, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

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