Already shots of November 16 and 17, which was taken with the help of the Israeli army (IDF), shows a tunnel shaft about 10 meters long, which is led by a spiral staircase to the mouth of a 55-meter long tunnel.
Electrical wires can be seen underground, terminating at an armored blast-proof door with a small opening through which weapons can be fired. The IDF claims that it has not yet reached the door, writes the British newspaper The Guardian on its website.
“This kind of door is used by the terrorist organization Hamas to prevent our troops from entering their command posts and underground structures,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
The American newspaper The New York Times verified that both videos were filmed at Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Investigative account on the X network “GeoConfirmed”, whose data is used by the investigative organization Bellingcat or the Center for Information Resilience, based on the analysis of the footage, identified the place where the video was created. According to him, the footage comes from around the Šífa hospital.
Reporters from The New York Times and CNN, accompanied by the IDF, visited the aforementioned shafts, which appeared on army footage on Sunday. They also confirmed the authenticity of the footage.
Israel’s war cabinet has reconvened to discuss how to free more than two hundred Hamas hostages. But Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is divided on what priority to give to this goal.
Israeli forces first entered the sprawling Shifa hospital complex five days ago, claiming it was being used as a command center by the militant group Hamas. Israel therefore designated the complex – despite international protest (more here) – as a key target.
According to the army, the discovery of the tunnel proves the claim of the Israeli secret services that Hamas had its base under the hospital, writes The Times of Israel server.
“We have to demolish the underground facility we found. I think the Hamas leadership is under a lot of pressure with this finding,” said IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari. According to him, demolishing the tunnel will take time because it is necessary to proceed mainly with the safety of the soldiers in mind.
The vast network of tunnels in Gaza
The Israeli operation will not only be on the ground, but also underground. It is the so-called “Gaza metro”, i.e. the extensive network of tunnels, that will represent one of the biggest challenges. Terrorists from Hamas have woven it all over Gaza and are using civilian buildings as shields.
The released footage is the most convincing evidence yet offered by the Israeli military that there may be a network of tunnels under the hospital.
Just to be clear: They do not show that there is a command center under the largest hospital in Gaza, but they do show that there is a tunnel under the complex. Hamas has repeatedly denied that there is a network of tunnels under Shifa Hospital.