IDF raids Gaza hospital where Hamas terrorists planned to regroup

IDF Spokesperson: ‘We call on all Hamas terrorists hiding in hospitals to surrender immediately.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

The IDF conducted a raid overnight on Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip and arrested 80 terror suspects.

The mission was prompted by intelligence that Hamas was regrouping in the northern Gaza hospital and planned to reinstate the facility as its local terror headquarters, a role it served before the war.

The raid began at 2:30 am on Monday and included IDF infantry, armor, and special forces units, in conjunction with the Shin Bet internal security agency, and the IDF intelligence collection Unit 504.

The IDF said they had warned medical staff at Shifa that Hamas was returning to establish a presence there, and waited for a few days to catch the terrorists by surprise.

Although Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was aware of the operation, the rest of the war cabinet had no prior knowledge of the mission.

In addition to the 80 terror suspects apprehended by the IDF, there were reports that some terrorists had been killed in the security raid.

The mission took place on ground level, and there was no indication that the IDF entered the tunnels beneath the hospital.

Troops struck several facilities to close off escape and currently, IDF soldiers are clearing the premises of additional terrorists who may be hiding.

During the clearing process, there are ongoing skirmishes between IDF troops and concealed terrorists.

The IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, issued a video statement in English emphasizing the necessity of the mission, while adding that the IDF would strive to ensure the safety of the hospital’s patients.

He said the mission was a “global imperative” and added, “Our war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza.”

Hagari said, “We mean no harm against the civilians Hamas hides behind.”

He added that Arabic speakers would accompany troops so they could communicate instructions to the patients and the IDF would make food and water available.

In addition, there would be safe passageways to allow civilians to exit, but there was no need for patients and medical staff to exit the hospital.

Hagari issued a warning to Hamas, and said, “We call on all Hamas terrorists hiding in hospitals to surrender immediately.”

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He added, “Medical facilities should never be exploited for terror. Hamas must be held accountable.”