The Palestinian Authority (PA)

Hamas Exploitation of Hospitals for Military-Terrorist Purposes Shifa Hospital as a test case

Shifa Hospital is a government hospital which belongs to the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip. From the beginning of Operation Iron Swords, the hospital admitted the largest number of casualties of all the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. It received shipments of equipment and medical aid from the International Red Cross which included medical equipment for its operating and emergency rooms. As revealed by the IDF spokesperson, in addition to functioning as a medical institution, the hospital was clearly exploited by Hamas' military-terrorist wing. The IDF forces entered the hospital and exposed its underground levels, which had tunnels, headquarters, control rooms and stockpiles of weapons. The evidence clearly proves that the hospital was used for extensive terrorist activity, exploiting the fact that IDF forces would not attack a civilian medical facility. Revealing that the hospital was exploited for military-terrorist purposes became a symbol of Hamas's cynical use of the population and civilian facilities for its terrorist needs, including the use of medical facilities. It was not the first time the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, especially Hamas, had been exposed as exploiting hospitals and other medical facilities for military-terrorist purposed. They knew the IDF would not attack hospitals, which provided their military-terrorist facilities with a kind of immunity. For the same reason, they exploit ambulances and vehicles belonging to humanitarian organizations for the transport of terrorist operatives and weapons from place to place. Exploiting civilian facilities for military-terrorist purposes is a Hamas modus operandi, and to that end, they prepared a web of tunnels and stockpiles of weapons inside the hospitals in advance.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 10, 2023)

Fighting continues in the northern and southern Gaza Strip. Integrated IDF forces continued to expand their presence in the area, attacking hundreds of Hamas terrorist targets. The local media reported fierce fighting and the surrender of dozens of Gazans. Senior Hamas terrorists claimed they had the upper hand, were successfully combatting the IDF forces and could hold out for many months.An IDF attempt to free the hostages failed (no hostage was present at the site) and two soldiers were injuredThe situation in the Strip continues to deteriorate. The spokesman for the Hamas-controlled the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the collapse of the public health system, stating hospital occupancy stood at 260%.Hezbollah continued attacking IDF posts and forces. The IDF responded with artillery fire and airstrikes. Reportedly, there has been increasing criticism from senior Hezbollah terrorists of the Radwan forces along the border and its performance during the war. The American embassy in Baghdad was attacked. The Houthis declared they would absolutelyThe Security Council debated a proposed resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. It was vetoed by the United States, on the grounds that it did not condemn Hamas' October 7 massacre, or the sexual violence perpetrated by its terrorist operatives, and there was no mention of calling on the Red Cross to provide the hostages with medical treatment. The Palestinians and their supporters condemned the United States' veto.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 5, 2023)

The integrated IDF forces extended the fighting in the Gaza Strip, focusing their activity in the Jabalia and Shejaiya areas in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Khan Yunis region in the south. The Palestinian media reported a very difficult night in the Khan Yunis region and in the central Gaza Strip. A Hamas source said the Gaza Strip was burning "in the most horrific war in modern history. Hamas is calling for a return to indirect negotiations, but not under fire. Hamas claims that since most of the hostages are officers and soldiers, there will be different criteria for their release. Hamas denied the accusations of acts of rape and other sexual abuse committed during the October 7 attack and accused Israel of spreading "false propaganda. Hezbollah continued attacking IDF positions along the northern border; the IDF responded with artillery and aerial fire. Hamas sources in Lebanon announced the establishment of an organization called Pioneers of Operation al-Aqsa Storm, calling on young and adult men to join its ranks. The organization was apparently established with Hezbollah's blessing. Following criticism, Hamas was quick to claim it was not a military organization, but rather the "popular recruitment" of young Palestinians into its ranks.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 3, 2023)

Following the extension of the temporary ceasefire, another group of hostages was returned to Israel on the night of November 30. Efforts to extend the temporary ceasefire and return additional hostages failed since Hamas did not honor its commitment, and on the morning of December 1, 2023, fighting in the Gaza Strip resumed. Senior Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Palestine (PIJ) terrorists continued to state they were prepared to continue negotiations, however, Saleh al-'Arouri unequivocally announced there would be no negotiations before a comprehensive ceasefire, closing the door to further efforts.: Integrated IDF forces resumed fighting in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue firing rockets and mortar shells at Israel. Since the beginning of the integrated ground maneuver, IDF forces have located more than 800 shafts of Hamas tunnels and have destroyed approximately 500 of them. Another field hospital was established in Rafah. The spokesman for the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the hospitals were operating beyond full capacity.: With the resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah resumed its attacks on the Israel-Lebanon border. So far, it has claimed responsibility for 17 attacks. The IDF responded with artillery fire and airstrikes. A launch attempt was made from Syria and failed.In Judea and Samaria Palestinian terrorists attempted a stabbing and a hit and run attack. Two IDF soldiers were injured. Mahmoud Abbas and Muhammad Shtayyeh met with Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, who visited Ramallah. The heads of Palestinian human rights organizations refused to meet with him on the grounds that he was biased towards Israel.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 30, 2023)

Following the extension of the temporary ceasefire, a sixth group of abductees was released. The ceasefire was extended. Three people were killed in a shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem, Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite the temporary ceasefire, three Palestinians were killed in a clash with IDF forces. According to an unofficial estimate, since October 7 approximately 1,200 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 395 of them soldiers and officers (including three bodies); 145 civilian and military abductees are being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.88 hostages have been released to date. In Gaza Strip: Local figures are calling for more humanitarian aid. The northern sector: Aerial defense fighters intercepted a suspicious target crossing the Lebanese border into Israeli territory. Judea and Samaria: Israeli security force counterterrorism activities continue. The foreign ministers of the UN Security Council convened to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 28, 2023)

On the evening of November 27, the fourth group of abductees held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip was released. It included 11 Israeli women and children. The temporary ceasefire will be extended for an additional two days during which 20 more hostages will be released. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are in favor of returning abductees while the pause continues. The UN's Human Rights Watch issued its findings regarding the explosion at al-Ahli Hospital on October 17, 2023, for which Israel was blamed. According to the organization, the explosion was caused by the payload and propellant of rockets similar to those in the possession of Palestinian "armed" [terrorist] organizations. Hamas and the PIJ protested the findings on the grounds that they were "biased in favor of Israel.The pause in the fighting was used to assess damage and to locate missing people. Hamas complained that sufficient supplies had not arrived in the northern Gaza Strip.: The northern border remains quiet. There were reports of political activity to change UN Security Council Resolution 1701 regarding the presence of armed operatives on the Israel-Lebanon border.
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