Hamas denies terrorist presence at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital in English — but celebrates it in Arabic

Hamas has told reporters in English language outlets that there were no ‘militants’ in Al-Shifa, however their own videos dispute that.

By Jack Elbaum, The Algemeiner

Videos taken by Palestinian terrorists and released in Arabic show themselves in civilian clothing barricading in and around Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City while firing guns and explosives at Israeli soldiers — a different story than the one that Hamas and its allies have told the world in English.

For the last two weeks, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been operating in and around Al-Shifa, the largest medical facility in Gaza before the current war, after Palestinian terrorists regrouped there following Israel’s operation in the compound in November.

In the fall, Israel had provided weeks of warning prior to entering the complex. “They [the terrorists] left there because they knew we were coming,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said. “And this time, we did something else.”

Israel has long said Al-Shifa was home to Hamas’ main base of operations, as well as cover for the terrorist group’s complex tunnel system and a hideout for fuel, water, food, and other supplies that were being withheld from Gaza’s civilian population.

According to the US, Hamas used the medical facility to run military operations and even hold hostages seized by the terrorists during their Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

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The IDF on Monday withdrew from Al-Shifa after a two-week raid, claiming Israeli soldiers killed more than 200 gunmen and captured about 900 suspects, of whom more than 500 were confirmed to be terrorist operatives.

Despite Article 19 of the Geneva Convention stating that “protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy,” some news reports framed Israel’s operation as a “massacre” that targeted doctors and patients rather than terrorists.

Additionally, Hamas has told reporters in English language outlets that there were no militants in Al-Shifa.

However, footage taken by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — all Palestinian terrorist organizations — indicate they were quite active in the areas in and around Al-Shifa. The Israel Files, a pro-Israel X/Twitter account, compiled a number of such videos.

Al Araby TV, for example, reported on “scenes from Al-Qassam [Hamas] fighters confronting the Israeli forces invading the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex.”

The videos show Palestinian terrorists in civilian buildings and wearing civilian clothing. John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at West Point’s Modern War Institute, recently wrote that “not wearing uniforms and trying to blend in with civilians” constitutes a war crime.

Observers have flagged the difference in Hamas’ messaging between English and Arabic to the media.

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One X/Twitter user observed that these terrorist groups “openly [brag] about firing missiles and mortars at Al-Shifa over the last several weeks in Arabic, but then ‘reporters’ from the same outlets in English pretend the hundreds of terrorists were just invented and Israel was just assassinating random people.”

Islamic Jihad video portrays similar scenes. The Palestinian Information Center posted video with the caption: “The Al-Quds Brigades shows scenes of targeting a military vehicle and bombing Zionist enemy soldiers during the battles in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Complex.”

Other video, released by Hamas, shows terrorists firing mortars at Israeli troops around Al-Shifa, with the following caption added by an X/Twitter user: “Qassam mortar barrages crush the Zionists’ pigs in the vicinity” of Al-Shifa.

Meanwhile, Hamas has openly acknowledged its presence at Al-Shifa — in Arabic.

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“Since Monday dawn, we have been engaged in fierce clashes with enemy forces in Al-Shifa Hospital, and we have caused deaths and injuries among its ranks,” the terrorist group said in a statement last month.

In its latest raid on the medical complex, the IDF said some “very significant” Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders were captured. At least four Hamas leaders were killed — including the deputy commander of its Gaza City rocket unit and an operative who helped plan a terror attack that killed four Israelis.

Hamas commander Raad Thabet was also killed in the raid. Hagari described Thabet as one of the most senior Hamas military commanders who had been in close contact with the terrorist group’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar and military wing head Mohammed Deif.