U.S. intelligence agencies have independently confirmed that Hamas has been using the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza as a front for the terrorist group’s command center.
According to newly declassified material, Hamas and another Gaza terrorist organization have been running their operation from the hospital, using innocent civilians as human shields.
The U.S. intelligence indicates that the hospital has a maze of tunnels and rooms constructed beneath it for terrorist use, the New York Times reported.
The discovery confirms that the hospital was made a legitimate target by Hamas.
Israel’s military came under heavy criticism for its military offensive against the hospital in November.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told the Times that not only did Hamas use it as a command post, but they also used it to detain “at least a few hostages.”
“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident in its judgment on this topic and has independently corroborated information on HAMAS and PIJ’s use of the hospital complex for a variety of purposes related to its campaign against Israel,” the declassified material states, according to the Associated Press.
Those uses, it said, included “to house command infrastructure, exercise certain command and control activities,” and store weapons.
The intelligence also reportedly indicated that both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups had frantically evacuated the facility just days before the Israeli assault.
The declassified intelligence offers the first glimpse into U.S. deliberations regarding the hospital beyond blanket endorsements of Israel’s own assessments.
In November, White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby had said only that “we have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control node.”
Israeli special forces escorted reporters into the tunnels beneath the hospital just hours after it was taken.
Evidence of a hasty withdrawal by Hamas forces was found in the tunnels.
Scattered supplies and small arms weapons were left behind by the terrorists as they fled.
Hamas had repeatedly denied claims that it was using the hospital in the lead-up to Israel’s assault.
Nevertheless, Hamas fighters engaged in intense gun battles with Israeli forces around the facility.
Slay News previously reported that civilians were warning that Hamas was hiding in the hospital.
In November, a video clip from an Al Jazeera interview was circulating online after a reporter cut off the broadcast from the hospital as the patient made an unwelcome statement.
During the live broadcast, the reporter appears to abruptly end the interview with an injured Palestinian man.
The man was cut off by the reporter as he started criticizing the presence of Hamas terrorists in the complex.
The elderly man told the reporter that terrorists were hiding among the wounded in the hospital.
According to a rough translation, the man told the reporter:
“What’s happening is criminal!
“Why is the resistance hiding among us?
“Why don’t they go to hell and hide there?
“They are not resistance!”
In the clip, the reporter, whose identity is unclear, then turns away from his interview subject and appears to quickly change the subject.
The man continues to talk and tries to follow the journalist, even as he’s walking away from him.
However, the reporter ignores the man and refuses to continue the interview.
Elderly Wounded Man at Gaza Hospital Criticizes Hamas for Hiding Among Civilians: “They Can Go to Hell and Hide There” – Then He Kicks Al-Jazeera Reporter for Cutting Him Off Mid-Sentence #Hamas #Gaza pic.twitter.com/JTG88fe3TT
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) November 15, 2023