Israel has intensified its accusations against Hamas, claiming that a captive soldier has been executed and two foreign hostages are being held at Al Shifa Hospital.
Once a shelter for tens of thousands of Palestinian war refugees, the hospital has become a focal point of the Israeli military’s mission to root out hidden Hamas facilities.
Allegations of Hamas Abuses at Al Shifa Hospital Intensify
Israeli troops entered Al Shifa last week, prompting the evacuation of patients and staff. The offensive follows a cross-border assault on October 7 by Hamas, during which they kidnapped approximately 240 people and initiated the ongoing conflict.
One of the kidnapped individuals was 19-year-old Israeli army conscript Noa Marciano, whose body was recovered near Shifa last week.
Hamas alleged she died in an Israeli airstrike and released a video purportedly showing her unmarked corpse, except for a head wound. The Israeli military, however, conducted a forensic examination, determining that Marciano had sustained non-life-threatening injuries from such a strike.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, chief spokesperson for the Israeli military, asserted that “solid intelligence information” indicated that Noa Marciano was taken by Hamas terrorists inside the walls of Shifa hospital and subsequently murdered. The details surrounding her death were not elaborated upon.
Israeli Military Spokesperson Says Hamas Kidnapped and Killed Noa Marciano
During a televised briefing, Hagari also claimed that Hamas gunmen had brought a Nepalese and a Thai hostage, among those kidnapped in the October 7 raid, to Shifa. However, he did not disclose their identities.
CCTV footage presented by Hagari appeared to show individuals forcibly entering the hospital, surprising medical staff, and another clip depicted an injured man on a gurney alongside an armed civilian.
Hamas has not immediately responded to Hagari’s statements, but the group had previously acknowledged taking hostages to hospitals for treatment.
Additionally, the Israeli military published videos on Sunday, purporting to show a tunnel 55 meters in length, dug by Palestinians 10 meters under the Shifa compound. Hamas has denied that such tunnels are located in civilian infrastructure like hospitals.
The footage displayed a narrow passage with arched concrete roofing, leading to a blast-proof door. The military did not specify what might be beyond the door but claimed the tunnel had been accessed through a shaft discovered in a shed within the Shifa compound containing munitions.
Gaza Health Ministry Director Mounir El Barsh dismissed the Israeli statement on the tunnel as a “pure lie,” emphasizing that the Israeli military had been at the hospital for eight days without finding anything.
The ongoing conflict continues to escalate tensions and deepen the complexities surrounding the allegations made by both sides.