What Has Israel Found Inside Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital?

Israel continues to report that it has found indications of “Hamas activity” at the hospital but has not yet produced evidence that Al-Shifa was an important Hamas stronghold, as it has repeatedly alleged.

Regarding any further — or more conclusive — evidence, the IDF has said it is continuing to search the complex and that it would take days or weeks to uncover additional evidence and present it to the world. One IDF spokesperson also said that in preparation for the arrival of Israeli forces at Al-Shifa, Hamas “tried to hide evidence of their war crimes,” citing “sand to cover some of the floors” and “double walls.”

There has been no independent verification of the images, footage, or allegations Israel has put forward thus far.

Small weapons caches
On Wednesday, the IDF released images and video of small caches of weapons and other equipment it said it had found in a radiology unit at Al-Shifa, as well as laptops it alleged were part of a Hamas command center inside. It also offered brief escorted tours of the radiology unit to a pair of international news crews.

The IDF also released a video on Thursday showing a white pickup truck it said it had found in the complex which contained automatic guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and other weapons.

What about hostages?
On Thursday night, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview, “We had strong indications that [hostages] were held in the Shifa Hospital, which is one of the reasons we entered the hospital,” but “if they were [there], they were taken out” before Israeli forces arrived.

The IDF says it has found the bodies of two hostages near Al-Shifa.

On Thursday, Israel said it had discovered the body of 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss, a kindergarten teacher and cancer patient who was kidnapped by militants from the Be’eri kibbutz on October 7. Her husband was killed in the attack. The IDF said it recovered her body from a structure adjacent to the hospital. Where exactly she was found, and how and when she died, are not yet clear. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Thursday that militants’ weapons were found near her remains and that she “was killed by terrorists in the Gaza Strip, and we didn’t manage to reach her in time.”

On Friday, the IDF announced that it had discovered the body of another hostage, 19-year-old Israeli soldier Noa Marciano, in a building adjacent to Al-Shifa. The timing and circumstances of her death are not clear either. Hamas had previously announced that Marciano was killed in an Israeli airstrike on November 9.

Evidence of tunnels
Also on Thursday, the IDF released footage of what it said was an “operational tunnel shaft” it had found after excavating beneath what appeared to have been a demolished small structure on the northern perimeter of the hospital grounds. Where the passage led and what it was used for are not yet clear.

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