IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the Navy’s elite Shayetet 13 commando unit and the 401st Armored Brigade have raided Gaza City’s Rantisi Hospital, which treats children, and that Hamas operatives were holed up there. He says he has just returned from the hospital, having filmed there, and that the IDF has evidence indicating that hostages were held there.
“Underneath the hospital, in the basement, we found a Hamas command and control center, suicide-bomb vests, grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, explosive devices, RPGs, and other weapons, computers, money, etc,” Hagari says, in an English-language press conference.
“We also found signs that indicate that Hamas held hostages here,” he says, adding that “this is currently under our investigation,” but that the IDF has intelligence to verify it.
“Additionally, we found evidence that Hamas terrorists came back from the massacre [in southern Israel] on October 7 to this hospital, among others, after butchering Israelis in their homes,” he says.
“Hamas hides in hospitals. Today, we will expose this to the world,” he says.
תיעוד בלעדי מפשיטת שייטת 13 וצוות הקרב של חטיבה 401 על בית החולים ״רנתיסי״: pic.twitter.com/ESsXOiUA5E
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 13, 2023
Hagari says the IDF has been working to enable the safe evacuation of patients from Rantisi over the last week, as well as from other hospitals in northern Gaza.
“Israel helped the hospital managers evacuate the Gaza patients to a safer hospital,” he says, adding that the IDF has been informed that “the last 18 patients in the Rantisi Hospital had safely evacuated to a safer hospital.
“This is because our war is against Hamas, not against the people in Gaza. Especially not the sick, the women, or the children,” he says.
“Our war is against Hamas who uses them as human shields,” Hagari adds.
He shares the raw footage [in the tweet above] filmed a few hours earlier “proving that Hamas systematically runs its terror machine under hospitals in Gaza.”
In the basement of Rantisi, Hagari shows a Hamas armory with grenades, bombs and RPGs. He highlights the dangers to patients of explosives under hospitals.
He shows a motorcycle in the basement that he believes was driven here by October 7 terrorists, presumably with a hostage.
Nearby, he shows what he says are multiple indications that hostages were held here, including an improvised toilet and other infrastructure to hold hostages.
Israeli forensic teams are on their way to the hospital to investigate the evidence, he says.
He says the terrorists may have evacuated the hospital with the patients.
He says other Gaza hospitals are also used by Hamas and other terrorists. “The world should know that,” he says. It’s a war crime, a crime against humanity and a crime against international law, Hagari says.
“We are trying to shift the Gazans to a safe area in the south and reveal those hospitals as terror machines,” he says. “The world should know it. And the world should not forget those crimes against humanity done to Israel.
“We will free our hostages from Gaza, and free Gaza from Hamas — for the sake of the people of Israel, for the people of Gaza as well, and the world.”
He says he took some foreign correspondents with him today, and that they came under fire as they were leaving.