IDF Alleges Hamas Held Hostages Inside Children's Hospital

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on November 13 that they found a Hamas tunnel leading to a children’s hospital in Gaza City, along with Hamas infrastructure inside the hospital, but did not release sufficient evidence to support the claims.

In footage posted by the IDF on Monday, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari shows the opening to a tunnel across a street from the Rantisi Hospital and says the tunnel leads into the hospital.

The footage then shows Hagari inside a room that he says is in the hospital’s basement, but Hagari provides no indication that the tunnel connects to that room. Inside the room, Hagari says the presence of toilets, a small kitchen, a list written in Arabic, diapers, and a baby bottle amount to evidence that Hamas had been keeping hostages inside the children’s hospital.

Storyful could not independently verify any details of the IDF’s reports.

A Palestinian health ministry spokesperson told Al Jazeera on Friday that the hospital had been struck by “direct attacks and bombardments.” Credit: IDF via Storyful

Video Transcript

DANIEL HAGARI: I'm here in Gaza City. We are here next to a house of a terrorist. This is one of the senior terrorists who is the head of the operational naval operations that led the raids into Israel. His house is right next to a-- to a school. His house is 200 yards from the hospital, the hospital of Rantissi. Next to his house, there is a tunnel.

Now I want to show you an operational tunnel. The tunnel is built with electricity. We first saw the solar panels. Then the electricity goes here. And it goes down directly to the tunnel. Now you can see the tunnel. You can see the tunnel. The tunnel is led down more than 20 meters down. The robot found a door, a door that is bulletproof. It's-- it's explosive-proof. So it looks like hard evidence, clear evidence that the hospital direction is connected.

This is a covert tunnel. It's part of the same floor, and it slides down here. So it's a covert tunnel. So nobody can find it. This is Rantissi Hospital. And this is the place where I showed you the tunnel. I want you to see. This is the back side of the hospital. Hamas use this hospital. Tonight, we have entered into this building. I will show you the evidence. Let's enter into the hospital.

We are now entering into the area of the hospital, where we had found the evidence. This operation was conducted by Israeli Special Unit, the Israeli Navy Seals. This is still an operation that is conducting. And I'm showing you the first evidence to see. We are now-- we are now in the area of the basement of the hospital.

I want to show you a room where we found all the gear, the operational gear of Hamas. Hamas is using hospitals, like we showed the evidence in Shifa Hospital, in other hospitals. I want you to see this room. It's in the basement of the hospital. We can see this area is a closed area from the rest of the hospital. We can see the ventilation air that was done improvisely to this area. And we can see infrastructures that was built in here. Toilets, shower, a small kitchen will provide the terrorists their needs.

It also conducts a hideout, a hideout where terrorists take hostages and hide out. And I will show you now the evidence. Look above it. It's a baby bottle. It's a baby bottle in a basement above a World Health Organization sign. This is a suspicion for an area where hostages were being held. We're now looking at an infrastructure. You don't need to build something improvisedly in a hospital in the basement unless you want to hold someone in the basement. You don't want anyone to see them. Again, we're in the same basement. And here we see diapers. And we see, I don't know, maybe something. We see diapers.