To: Interested Parties
From: The 10/7 Project
Re: A Decade of Evidence Proves Hamas Operates From Gaza Hospitals
Date: December 21, 2023
Contact: [email protected]
The Washington Post has published yet another piece that demonstrates the extreme skepticism with which the media treats all Israeli government claims regarding Hamas’s activities. This stands in marked contrast to the credulousness with which the international media often treats Hamas’s claims, such as the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry’s swiftly accepted assertion that an Israeli air strike was responsible for hundreds of deaths at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital. Following mass outrage across the globe due to the initial reporting on the incident based solely on Hamas’s claims, it later emerged that the explosion at the hospital was almost certainly caused by an errant rocket fired from within Gaza.
In addition to offering no clear evidence that disproves Israeli and American intelligence’s conclusions that Hamas was indeed operating from the hospital compound, the Washington Post piece also ignores a long record – much of which has been cataloged by journalists, including at the Washington Post – proving that Hamas operates out of hospitals in general and the Al-Shifa Hospital in particular.
The director of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Gaza recently admitted Hamas used the facility for terrorist activities. According to a translation provided by the Times of Israel, Ahmed Kahlot, director of the Kamal Adwan hospital, revealed that “Hamas had offices inside the hospital and used it as a base for operational activity.” Kahlot also confessed that he himself has been a member of Hamas for more than a decade, and “that many of the hospital staff doubled as members of Hamas’s az-al-adin al-Qasam brigades.” Kahlot also said, “There are places for senior officials. They also brought a kidnapped soldier there . . . There is a designated space for interrogations, internal security and special security. They all have private phone lines within the hospital.” As the Jerusalem Post reports, Khalot specifically stated that Hamas ran its own private ambulance service with dummy ambulances that were used to transport the bodies of Israeli hostages and for other non-medical purposes.
While the Washington Post mentions Kahlot’s arrest at the end of its new story, it goes out of its way to undermine this news by featuring three opposing viewpoints, including a quote from Hamas itself asserting without evidence that Kahlot was tortured. Here again, we see how the extreme skepticism toward Israeli claims supported by first-person evidence are treated.
U.S. intelligence agencies have evidence that Hamas uses hospitals in Gaza for terrorist activities. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters, “I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, used some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them, to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages . . . Hamas and the Palestinian – Palestinian Islamic Jihad, PIJ, members operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City. They have stored weapons there, and they’re prepared to respond to an Israeli military operation against that facility . . . it comes from a variety of intelligence methods of our own.”
Israeli officials discovered weapons and tunnels inside and underneath the Al-Shifa hospital. CBS News reporters visited the Al-Shifa hospital and saw first-hand “a tunnel entrance” and “a collection of grenades, rifles and ammunition” inside the hospital. Fox News reported on a video of an IDF official walking through Al-Shifa hospital, “Behind an MRI machine was military equipment, including an AK-47 rifle, ammunition, magazines, grenades and military uniforms, he said. Also, found was a backpack with military intelligence, he said. More of the same was found in another MRI room. In other parts of the facility, troops found more rifles and ammunition inside a closet.”
While the Washington Post’s new story features polished graphics purporting to undermine these claims, the text of the story offers mere conjecture and speculation that they are incorrect.
A Hamas operative confessed that Hamas used Al-Rantisi children’s hospital to carry out terrorist attacks. Video footage shows Alaa Ibrahim Samur, a Hamas operative captured by Israel confessing that “‘about a hundred’ Hamas operatives ‘took control’ of Rantisi for about five days to ‘[carry] out attacks.’” He also admitted the terrorists “operated from the hospital…because it was a secure place, and no one could locate them there.” They used the hospital “as a base of operations,” he said, before launching missions outside. A CNN team “was shown guns and explosives in one room located beneath Al-Rantisi children’s hospital.” Additionally, “CNN was shown a shaft, about 200 meters away from Al-Rantisi, which [IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel] Hagari claimed was located next to a Hamas commander’s house and also a school. Wires leading into the shaft provided power to the tunnel from solar panels fixed onto the roof of the Hamas commander’s house, he also said.”
Video footage shows hostages inside Al-Shifa hospital on October 7th. NBC News reported on security footage from the Al-Shifa Hospital on October 7, showing “people in plain clothes, at least one of whom is armed with what looks like an automatic rifle,” roaming the Shifa hospital complex. NBC News quoted intelligence expert Michael Horowitz who noted the footage “is quite damning for Hamas . . . Hamas could have gone to any number of hospitals that are closer to the border, if the purpose was just to provide medical support to the hostages — some of whom do not seem seriously injured,” he said. “The fact that they brought them specifically to the Shifa hospital, even if they did so briefly, means they felt very confident no information would leak out.”
Hamas has used the Al- Shifa hospital in Gaza City as a “de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders” in previous conflicts. In 2014, the Washington Post reported that during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City “[had] become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” During that conflict, a BBC reporter noted that “most of the Islamist group’s officials have gone to ground during this conflict . . . The only place where we have been able to approach Hamas spokesmen is at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.” A contemporaneous photo tweeted by a Wall Street Journal reporter offered photographic evidence of Hamas officials conducting media interviews from the hospital. Earlier, in 2008, the New York Times wrote of “armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes rov[ing] the halls” of Al-Shifa Hospital. In 2007, the British Medical Journal reported that, “The medical staff [at Al-Shifa Hospital] are suffering from fear and terror, particularly of the Hamas fighters, who are in every corner of the hospital.”
Why has more than a decade of reporting about Hamas’s presence at Al-Shifa Hospital simply been forgotten or disregarded by journalists at the very same international news outlets, including the Washington Post?
While no one expects the Washington Post or any other news outlet to accept all information at face value, the disparate treatment of information provided by the democratic government of Israel and Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization, is often sadly all too apparent. As the aftermath of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital misreporting shows, this can have significant consequences in both the region and around the world.