Photo by IDF Spokesperson on 31 March, 2024

Israel Uncovers Weapons in Shifa Hospital Maternity Ward

Public By Pesach Benson • 31 March, 2024

Jerusalem, 31 March, 2024 (TPS) -- Israeli soldiers seized large amounts of weapons hidden in the maternity ward of Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, the Israel Defense Forces said on Sunday.

Troops uncovered weapons hidden in the pillows and beds of the patients, and in the ceilings and walls of the compound — including dozens of mortar bombs, explosive devices, sniper weapons, Kalashnikovs, pistols, chargers, cartridges, mortars, ammunition and communications devices, the IDF said.

Capt. Yanai, commander of the Nahal Reconnaissance Unit, which was tasked with operating in the maternity ward, forces received intelligence of Hamas operatives and weapons inside the ward.

“First we announced to all the civilians who were sheltering under the building, and hundreds of civilians, women and children came out to us — including terrorists who were hiding behind them,” Yanai said. “After all the alerts, we went on selective searches in the area of ​​the maternity hospital. We found many weapons used by the enemy and also came across several terrorists who opened fire on us. The terrorists were killed on the spot.”

Israel returned to the Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, on March 18 after receiving intelligence that senior Hamas figures were inside the compound planning attacks. Since entering the compound, Israel has killed over 200 terrorists and detained 800 terror suspects, of whom at least 500 have been confirmed as members of the Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

The Press Service of Israel reported that in one of the hospital buildings, Hamas established a small government administration center with representatives of the government ministries, especially the ministries of education, interior, treasury and the police. On the day that Israeli forces entered the compound, Hamas was about to pay salaries to hundreds of its civil and military officials.

According to IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, 85% of Gaza’s hospitals have been used by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad for terror.

In December, Ahmed Kahlot, director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, confirmed to Israeli interrogators that he and other staff were Hamas operatives.

During the interrogation, Kahlot described how Hamas used hospitals and ambulances to hide operatives, launch military activity, transport members of terror squads and even deliver a kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Other Gazans have told Israeli interrogators deeply embedded themselves in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to use hospitals as a base for attacks.

As reported by the Tazpit Press Service, Hamas has made extensive use of the Shifa Hospital, launching rockets from its compound, hiding hostages in the bowels of the building, torturing collaborators, and digging tunnels connected to nearby sites. Israel also released a recording of a phone call confirming that Hamas also stores at least a half-million liters of fuel underneath the compound.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.