I hate to say I told you so, but … naah, I love to say I told you so.
Almost from the beginning, I warned that the Israelis would have to target al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City if they meant to destroy Hamas. I also warned that the media would refuse to acknowledge that Hamas uses al-Shifa as its HQ, and they would refuse to accept any evidence from the IDF about that or note that the Israelis warned Gazans to evacuate the hospital. Instead, they would get “proportionality” entirely wrong in an attempt to frame the IDF’s attempts to destroy Hamas as a war crime … right up until incontrovertible evidence emerged to justify it.
The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday released surveillance camera footage from Shifa Hospital showing Hamas terrorists bringing a Nepali and Thai citizen who were abducted from Israel on October 7 to the medical center in Gaza City, and accused the Palestinian terror organization of murdering a kidnapped Israeli soldier there.
It also shared new footage of the underground network of tunnels and bunkers it says is buried under the hospital, as Israeli forces continue to operate in and around the facility. The army says Hamas uses Shifa and other hospitals as protection for its terror activity, and has specifically singled out Shifa as a key underground operations center for the group. …
In the footage published Sunday by the military, one of the hostages is visibly wounded in his arm and is brought in on a hospital bed, while the second is forcefully dragged into the hospital on his feet.
“These findings prove that the Hamas terror organization used Shifa Hospital on the day of the massacre itself as terror infrastructure,” the IDF said.
One hostage clearly has an abdominal wound, but the other hostage does not appear to be hurt — and certainly isn’t being handled like a patient. Hamas terrorists have his hands bound and are gripping him like a detainee through his armpits to move him quickly down a corridor. There does not appear to be a single doctor or nurse around them as the terrorists hustle the hostage to whatever destination they intend.
We’ll get to the video in a moment, but … why al-Shifa? Even if medical treatment was the intent, al-Shifa is the last place they could have taken the hostages — literally, as Tel Aviv Institute founder Hen Mazzig points out:
Every possible route Hamas terrorists could have taken the hostages into Gaza would have passed through at least 5 other hospitals before reaching Shifa Hospital.
They didn’t take them there for “medical treatment”; they brought them specifically to Shifa because it’s their… pic.twitter.com/g40vAM4sdK
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) November 19, 2023
‘They didn’t take them there for “medical treatment,” Mazzig points out; “they brought them specifically to Shifa because it’s their headquarters.” Exactly. The IDF may have gone to Rantisi and al-Quds first on the assumption that Hamas may have wanted to go the shorter route with hostages.
Here’s the video from The Sun, which includes the IDF briefing that Israel hopes will convince media outlets to report actual facts. It’s age-restricted due to the violent images in the clips shown:
The Guardian clearly doesn’t get the message, loading their shorter video with lots of caveats such as, “The IDF claims …” Funny how they never pose claims from Hamas in a similar manner, eh? Instead, we hear about “Gazan health officials” and body counts that entirely comprise civilian losses with nary a warning about Hamas propaganda. Seeing should be believing, unless you’re married to the Corbynian narrative of Israel bad, Hamas ‘decolonizers’ good:
“To the surprise of medical staff”? Er … not so much. The medical staff at al-Shifa knew very well about Hamas’ operation in and under the hospital, as Western doctors are starting to testify. They knew where to go when doing charitable work in al-Shifa, and more importantly where not to go:
A British doctor who used to work in Gaza’s Shifa hospital recounts: “I was told there was a part of the hospital I was not to go near and if I did, I’d be in danger of being shot.”
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 19, 2023
Separately, a journalist from Italy who spoke to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity recounted that in 2009, right after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas, he visited Gaza’s hospitals looking to interview wounded members of Fatah — the rival Palestinian faction that Hamas violently ousted from the coastal enclave in 2007.
“Eventually, I realized that they were all at home — Fatah members were too afraid to stay in the hospital, even if they were wounded,” the journalist said.
“Shifa is a very large compound. I got lost inside it, and at some point I ended up on an underground floor, and I found myself in front of two armed Hamas men in military attire, who told me to get out.”
“I got the impression they were guarding a security door that gave access to their underground infrastructure. Several Palestinian sources I spoke with later on confirmed that Hamas’s command and control center was located under Shifa Hospital and that [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh had been hiding there throughout the duration of Operation Cast Lead.”
So what should we conclude from this new evidence? First, Hamas has clearly made al-Shifa a military target by staging its operations in the hospital, and that all consequences of that are the responsibility of the terrorists that started this war. But close behind that, we can also conclude that Western media outlets have become utterly useless as news sources and have transformed themselves instead into propaganda mouthpieces for Hamas. David Collier sums it up:
1. Our media has been trusting and quoting doctors at Shifa for weeks
2. It is now clear the Shifa doctors were lying.
3. Therefore it is also clear mainstream media became Hamas tools.
4. Any outlet that did so should apologise.https://t.co/CmLVJwkuNP
— David Collier (@mishtal) November 19, 2023
But they won’t. And that’s why we should rely on other sources of news, especially in this conflict, until they do.
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