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The evidence presented by the Israeli government falls short of showing that Hamas had been using the hospital as a command and control center, according to a ‘Washington Post’ analysis

For weeks, alternative news outlets like The Grayzone and The Intercept have cast major doubts on Israel’s claim that the al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza sat atop a major Hamas command center. Now, even an ultimate establishment outlet — the Washington Post — has likewise found that Israel’s claims about the hospital it besieged don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Mistrust existed even before the Israeli Defense Forces first besieged the hospital before bombing a departing ambulance convoy, and then raiding the hospital in November. While those who reflexively back Israel at every turn may have been fooled, others rightly rolled their eyes as the Israeli government presented the world with a cartoon version of what was supposed to lie under the hospital,as if that was some kind of proof:

After its Nov. 15 raid of the hospital, the IDF distributed videos and photographs to bolster Israel’s claims about the hospital, however the Post notes:

the evidence presented by the Israeli government falls short of showing that Hamas had been using the hospital as a command and control center, according to a Washington Post analysis of open-source visuals, satellite imagery and all of the publicly released IDF materials.

That raises critical questions, legal and humanitarian experts say, about whether the civilian harm caused by Israel’s military operations against the hospital — encircling, besieging and ultimately raiding the facility and the tunnel beneath it — were proportionate to the assessed threat. — Washington Post

The Post’s analysis refuted three cornerstone allegations that Israel had made. First, there is no compelling evidence of military use of the facility by Hamas. Second, contrary to pre-attack claims, the single tunnel under the hospital doesn’t connect to five other buildings on the hospital campus that were supposed Hamas operational hubs. Finally, the Post found no proof that hospital wards had tunnel access.

Before attacking the hospital, the IDF said the five highlighted buildings were used by Hamas, and that the hospital sat on top of a major tunnel complex (Washington Post graphic)

After raiding the hospital, the IDF released footage alleging to have recovered a mere dozen AK-47 rifles and a handful of grenades.

They also shared images of a tunnel shaft which was in a single small building on the northeast corner of the hospital campus. The tunnel led to two small bathrooms and two empty rooms.

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed the mere presence of electrical wiring proved one of the chambers was an “operational room.” However, the Post notes that the rooms are remarkably pristine. Besides lacking any military flavor, they show “no signs of recent habitation, including litter, food containers, clothing or other personal items.”

Note that, in a separate instance, Hagari has proven himself a highly undependable tour-guide — to the point of earning widespread ridicule. In a video shot at a children’s hospital, he claimed that papers on the wall showed the names of terrorists charged with guarding hostages. Arabic speakers were quick to note that the words he pointed to were simply the days of the week.

Last month, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak threw CNN’s Christiane Amanpour for a loop when he said it was the Israelis who built bunkers under al-Shifa Hospital:

Another piece of supposed evidence of the hospital’s military use is also less than compelling. Security camera footage shows militants leading two Israeli hostages through the hospital on Oct. 7 — the day of the Hamas invasion of southern Israel. However, one of the hostages appears wounded and is being transported on a gurney, seemingly indicating the militants took the hostage to the hospital for treatment.

The IDF said it destroyed the few tunnels it found under al-Shifa and then left the hospital, seemingly confirming that the cartoon version of the Israeli government’s claims was nowhere

Full article: Israel Fails To Prove Targeted Gaza Hospital Was Hamas Hub: Washington Post


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