Israel said its soldiers discovered what the army calls “military equipment used by Hamas” during an operation at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
Israeli forces entered Al-Shifa in the early hours of Wednesday (15), after signaling for weeks their intention to advance on the complex, which they claim is the site of an underground Hamas command and control center.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the military operation at the hospital “is still ongoing and will take time.”
“It’s a complicated area, which still has a lot of people. We need to drive at the right pace,” he said.
Doctors and health officials in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have consistently rejected accusations that the hospital was the site of a command center for the radical Islamist group.
See also: Israel carries out operation against Hamas in hospital
In a statement, the IDF said soldiers located a hospital room where they found “technological assets, along with military and combat equipment used by Hamas.”
“In another department of the hospital, soldiers located an operational command center and technological assets belonging to Hamas,” the statement continued, which indicated, the statement said, “that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes.”
The statement said the IDF continued to operate in the hospital complex.
A CNN He tries to contact the hospital to speak to the doctors there, but the calls are not being answered.
Earlier in the day, an Israeli defense official said troops had discovered “concrete evidence that Hamas terrorists used Shifa hospital as a terrorist headquarters,” promising to present the evidence later.
Israel is under significant international pressure to prove its claims about Hamas infiltration of the hospital in order to justify some of its military decisions – which could otherwise constitute a possible serious violation of international humanitarian law.
There is still no indication that troops have discovered a multi-level tunnel structure with underground chambers – the kind illustrated in an animation shown by the army spokesman at a meeting nearly three weeks ago.
Hamas responded to the Israeli army’s previous comments – that troops had found weapons inside the hospital – as a blatant lie and propaganda.
Israeli army video showed automatic weapons, grenades, ammunition and bulletproof vests that the military said were recovered from an undisclosed building within the compound.
Reuters was able to verify the location from the position of the buildings, their shape, a column, brickwork and the location of the grass which matched archival footage and images of the hospital grounds.
Previously, Hamas said it had built a network of tunnels under the hospital. The group denied and rejected the army’s latest statements.
See also: Images show destruction in Gaza’s largest hospital
(With information from Maria Paula Laguna and Andrea Rodriguez, from Reuters)
Source: CNN Brasil
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