Israel said on Wednesday that in November it had dismantled a tunnel below Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the medical facility that Israel and allies have said Hamas used as a shield for a vast underground militia complex.
The 250-meter tunnel, about 273 yards, was dismantled without damaging the hospital, the Israeli military said in a statement. The tunnel “led to a number of significant terrorist centers and was used for carrying out terrorist operations,” the military said.
[The New York Times Report continues]
On Tuesday, newly declassified American intelligence revealed that U.S. spy agencies believe Hamas and another Palestinian group used the hospital to command forces and hold some hostages. A senior intelligence official said American intelligence agencies obtained information that Hamas fighters had evacuated the complex days before the hospital operation, and that the assessment remains firm despite questions from some news organizations about Hamas’s presence there.
Israel has been criticized for failing to produce evidence of specific claims made in the lead-up to the raid on the hospital, including that it would discover a sophisticated underground command center and access points to the tunnel from inside the hospital’s wards. Israel did not provide evidence to back those specific claims, because, the military said, it was unable to fully excavate the tunnel because it was booby-trapped.
Images released by the Israeli military clearly show extensive tunnels, but not how they were used.
View This New York Times Report from January 3rd