In recent days, there have been claims by international news networks, including CNN and BBC, regarding the presence of weapons at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. These reports suggest that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have "rearranged" the weapons before allowing international news teams to visit the hospital as part of a briefing. Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson for the IDF, addressed these allegations and provided crucial context to the situation.
General Hagari stated, "We let the media in to see things directly. In some places, explosives have to be moved, handled, and mines and charges removed before they can be returned to the same room to show the international media. We don't allow people into rooms with grenades and live explosives; that is a task for the IDF forces. When the media enters a room, it must be secured. We explained things, showed them, and everything is fully documented with troops' cameras - everything is factual and reliable."
Two things that everyone knows:— Daniel Rubenstein (@paulrubens) November 19, 2023
1. Hamas used Shifa Hospital as a military base.
2. Hamas will never again be able to use Shifa Hospital as a military base. pic.twitter.com/QEK6kIxCf3
One of the pieces of "evidence" cited by news networks is a photograph published by the IDF from the hospital, featuring IDF spokesman for foreign media, Jonathan Conricus, leading the briefing with the time on his watch showing 1:18 PM. In contrast, Fox News reporter Trey Yingst pointed out that this time was "the middle of the night" during his broadcast.
Furthermore, in the filmed briefing aired on Fox News, Yingst revealed a bag found behind an MRI machine at the hospital with two Kalashnikov submachine guns placed on top of it. However, in an earlier IDF video, only one Kalashnikov submachine gun was seen. This discrepancy led some to question whether the weapons had been moved or placed there ahead of time.
Regarding the significance of Shifa Hospital, while the IDF maintains that it serves as an "operational command center of Hamas," the BBC's understanding differs, considering it a "relatively small facility." John Kirby, spokesperson for the American National Security Council, stated that "Hamas uses Shifa as a 'junction' of command and control."
The Shifa Hospital in Gaza now has fuel, incubators, baby food, medicine, food and water.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 18, 2023
These definitely weren’t provided by Hamas—the ruling authority in Gaza…
But by Israel. https://t.co/hm7PNlWTgB
It's worth noting that last week, General Hagari disclosed that during the raid on Shifa Hospital, the IDF discovered an operational headquarters, weapons, and technological equipment. Additionally, "unique technological means" were found alongside combat equipment and Hamas military gear in the MRI department. Another department housed a Hamas operational headquarters and technological equipment.
General Hagari emphasized that the findings at Shifa Hospital provide evidence that Hamas has been using hospitals for its military activities. He mentioned the discovery of uniforms of Hamas operatives scattered on the hospital floor, presumably left behind to allow them to escape in a civilian guise.