Israel’s military on Wednesday released a video it says shows the dismantling of a tunnel route it accuses Hamas of digging beneath Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the underground tunnel layout was dismantled on November 24 by special forces and soldiers from the Yahalom Unit, specialized in engineering tasks.
The IDF claims that the hospital was not damaged and that humanitarian activities were able to continue while they dismantled the tunnel route, which they claim extended for more than 250 meters.
CNN cannot independently verify the IDF’s claims.
Israel accused Hamas of developing the tunnel system beneath the hospital and connecting it to nearby tunnels and other Hamas centers to carry out “terrorist operations,” which Hamas has repeatedly denied.
The IDF also insisted that Hamas systematically operates in hospitals in Gaza and adjacent areas, “using residents as human shields.” Hamas has previously denied using the hospital as a command center.
American intelligence: The United States on Tuesday reiterated its assessment that Hamas and other Gaza militants used Al-Shifa hospital as a command center, as well as to hold hostages and store weapons, and a senior intelligence official pointed to recently declassified intelligence that reinforces Israel’s conclusion. and American intelligence.
“The U.S. intelligence community trusts his judgment on this matter and has independently corroborated information about Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jiahd]”Israel’s use of the hospital complex for a variety of purposes related to its campaign against Israel,” the official said Tuesday.
But the US intelligence community did not release any new evidence to support its assessment after questions were raised about the extent to which Al-Shifa Hospital was actually the “beating heart” of Hamas operations, as Israel had claimed.
In late December, the Washington Post published an extensive investigation that cast doubt on some of Israel’s claims.
Israel had come under widespread criticism for its November siege and assault on the struggling hospital, where doctors had described the situation as “catastrophic.”