Director Confirms Most Patients and Staff Have Evacuated Gaza’s Shifa Hospital
Jerusalem, 18 November, 2023 (TPS) -- Most patients and staff of Gaza’s Shifa Hospital have already been evacuated, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed in a recorded conversation with the medical center’s director on Saturday. The military released a copy of the recording to the press on Saturday evening.
The hospital’s director told an Arab-speaking officer from the IDF’s Coordination and Liaison Administration that patients well enough to evacuate were already transferred, while most of the staff left too. The only patients left are too sick to evacuate.
The officer told the hospital director, “When there is the opportunity and the possibility from a medical point of view, we will coordinate.”
As for Shifa’s medical teams, the director responded that they left on their own, “and I have no control over them in the end.”
The recording did not indicate a precise number of patients or staff.
The IDF also said it had transferred 6,000 liters of water and over 2,300 kg of food, including fish, canned food, bread, spreads, and dates to the hospital.
The recording rebutted Palestinian claims that the IDF had demanded the hospital’s evacuation.
The IDF also said soldiers transferred over 6,000 liters of water and over 2,300 kilograms of food to Shifa Hospital.
Shifa Hospital, located in the North Rimal neighborhood and boasting 570 beds, is Gaza’s largest medical center, serving the medical needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. It was originally built by British authorities in 1946. In the 1980s, Israel renovated and expanded Shifa as part of an initiative to improve Gaza living conditions.
As far back as 2009, the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) reported during the Gaza war of that year that Hamas operatives were hiding in the hospital, and that the basement had become Hamas’s headquarters.
As the Tazpit Press Service reported, in addition to being used to hide Hamas leaders and hostages, the terror group is known to have launched rockets, tortured suspected collaborators and hoarded a half-million liters of fuel in the hospital compound.
A laptop found by soldiers in the hospital compound contained images and videos of Israeli hostages, the IDF announced on Thursday.