JERUSALEM, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The Israeli military on Monday shared video and photographs showing what it said were weapons stored by Hamas in the basement of a children’s hospital in Gaza, where it said her, hostages appear to have been held.
Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said troops found a command center with an arsenal of weapons, including grenades, suicide vests and other explosives, stockpiled by Hamas fighters in the basement of Rantissi Hospital, a pediatric hospital specializing in the treatment of cancer patients.
“And we also found signs that Hamas was holding hostages here,” he told a televised news briefing. “That’s currently the subject of our investigation. But we also have intelligence that verifies it.”
He showed images of what appeared to be crude living quarters, including a small kitchen, as well as a nearby tunnel shaft that he said led to the home of a senior Hamas naval commander.
“Hamas took this entire area under its control and waged its war against the Israelis from this hospital,” he said.
In addition, troops found a motorcycle with gunshot marks that they said appeared to have been used to bring hostages to Gaza after the October 7 surprise attack when Hamas gunmen broke into the southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people and capturing around 240 prisoners, according to Israeli authorities.
In retaliation, Israel launched an intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip and followed up with a ground operation that saw its troops move deep into the enclave. More than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities.
On Monday, Israeli tanks were positioned outside the gates of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s main hospital where hundreds of patients were still waiting to be evacuated.
As the invasion progressed, Israel accused Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian infrastructure to hide command centers and weapons positions and of using civilians and hospital patients as shields. humans.
Hamas and Gaza hospital authorities have denied that health facilities were used in this way. There was no immediate comment from Hamas on the latest Israeli statements.
The United Nations has called for an end to attacks on health care in Gaza. Israel says it authorizes the evacuation of patients and civilians.
Reporting by James Mackenzie, editing by Rosalba O’Brien
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