Shifa Hospital: Fortress for Hamas fighters and storehouse for weapons

In hospital after hospital, the IDF has discovered Hamas fighters and weapons, transforming them to legitimate military targets.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, Frontpage Magazine

On the 13th day of the IDF’s operation at Shifa Hospital, it managed to locate and kill still more of Hamas’ senior leadership in northern Gaza.

More on Shifa, the gift that keeps on giving, especially to the IDF’s intelligence units, can be found here: “IDF kills additional senior Hamas officials at Shifa Hospital,” Jerusalem Post, March 30, 2024:

Three Hamas senior officials were killed in face-to-face combat against IDF soldiers at Shifa Hospital on Saturday, the military said.

Israeli forces from the IDF’s 401st Brigade and Shayetet 13, under the 162nd Division’s command, have been continuing to operate in the area of the hospital to fight Hamas terrorists using the medical facility.

They have been reportedly been operating under intelligence provided by the Israeli Intelligence Directorate and Israel Securities Authority (ISA) – which revealed the presence of Hamas senior members in the hospital.

After receiving the intelligence, forces from Shayetet 13, the Duvdevan Unit, and the Nahal Brigade’s Reconnaissance Unit conducted a targeted raid where intelligence officials determined there were Hamas terrorists located.

At the targeted location, armed terrorists came out of the ER room to fire on IDF soldiers.

Several terrorists were eliminated in the raid in close combat with Israeli forces, including senior Hamas leader Ra’ad Thabat and Mahmoud Khalil Ziqzouq, the latter of whom was the Deputy Head of the Rocket Unit in Gaza City.

Terrorists Fadi Dewik and Zakariya Najeeb were eliminated in an encounter at the maternity hospital.

Dewik carried out a shooting attack in the Israeli settlement Adora, which murdered four people, and was released in the Shalit deal, which was an agreement in 2011 between Israel and Hamas to release Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage by Hamas from 2006 to 2011 and was released in exchange for 1,027 prisoners held by Israel.

Najeeb was a senior operative in Hamas’s West Bank Headquarters and was responsible for linking the West Bank and Gaza Strip in directing terror attacks. He, too, was released in the Shalit deal.

Israeli forces also located many weapons, including sniper weapons, Kalashnikov rifles, cartridges, and grenades….

Israel has been criticized for attacking hospitals in Gaza, which are described by its detractors as “civilian facilities.”

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But in hospital after hospital, the IDF has discovered Hamas fighters and weapons, which means these places have become legitimate military targets.

At Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, the IDF has discovered nearly a thousand Hamas fighters, and so far killed more than 200 of them and captured 500.

The number of wounded fighters has not been made public.

The IDF has also uncovered enormous stockpiles of weapons found throughout the hospital, in patients’ rooms, in operating rooms, in emergency rooms, behind MRI machines, in short, everywhere.

Both those fighters and those weapons belonging to Hamas should convince everyone that this was not only, nor even mainly, a hospital in the ordinary understanding of that word.

It was a fortress for the Hamas fighters and a storehouse for their weapons.

As a result, it cannot be considered to be a “civilian target.” It is a military outpost, like so many of the hospitals in Gaza that the IDF has entered and searched.

After thirteen days of nonstop military operations inside the vast hospital complex, with thousands of bullets flying, the IDF’s spokesman Daniel Hagari was pleased to announce that not a single patient, member of the medical staff, nor any other civilian has yet died in the fighting at Shifa.

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Meanwhile, every day brings fresh announcements of senior Hamas leaders who have been killed, and about others who are said to be providing actionable information to their IDF interrogators.

This second IDF attack on Hamas fighters at Shifa is the most successful Israeli operation so far in this Gazan war.

And with the information these captured Hamas fighters have been providing, the IDF will soon be mopping up everywhere in northern Gaza, while at the same time, in the south, it prepares safe places for residents of Rafah to go, before the IDF goes into the city for the final battle of this war.