Tel Aviv [Israel], November 21 (ANI/TPS): Gazans in Israeli custody confirmed to interrogators that terror groups actively operated in Gaza hospitals and even deeply embedded themselves in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in videos released by the Israel Defence Forces on Monday.
So far, 500 Palestinians have been interrogated by Arabic-speaking members of the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate's Unit 504 at a detention facility in southern Israel, the IDF said.
In videos released by the military, three Palestinians explained to interrogators how terrorists from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups would hide in the Shifa and Rantisi hospitals. Two of the three Palestinians were identified by name in the videos.
The first Palestinian, identified only as having been apprehended inside Gaza on Nov. 12, told interrogators that these terrorists--dressed in civilian clothes--would use the hospitals as a base for attacks. They would also disguise themselves as medical staff while hiding in the hospital.
"The doctors were furious because Hamas operatives and operatives of the other terror organisations were inside the hospital," he said.
Asked how many terrorists he saw, the Palestinian answered, "I saw a lot of them--about 80, 90, 100. It reached 100 people."He added, "They dressed as nursing staff, but they were not nurses or doctors."Hamuda Riad Asad Shamalah, an internet application engineer at Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry said that the terror groups also embedded themselves with the Red Crescent Organisation, which has a 10-story complex. He said he went there with his wife and three daughters "because I thought it was a safe and protected place."Shamalah said he wanted to find refuge, but then "the terrorists came and threatened us."He told his interrogator, "When the Hamas operatives remained in the compound, they continued to operate and hid the rockets and guns inside the mattresses. This was on a daily basis; no one can refuse them; if you dare to confront Hamas, they will kill you."According to Shamalah, the sheer number of people at the Red Crescent headquarters was what made the complex appealing to Hamas.
"We will become human shields because the IDF will not attack a place with 40,000 people inside. If you want to fight, use a battlefield. If one of the rockets had exploded, it could have killed 50 of us," Shamalah said.
Abdelrahman Ala Ibrahim Samour described to interrogators what he saw at the UNRWA-run Al Saweidi (Swedish) Clinic in the Shati refugee camp and also at the Rantisi Hospital.
"When I went to the Rantisi Hospital, I saw Hamas operatives who took control of the hospital." There were around 100 of them, and they stayed in groups of four or five and they would sometimes leave to carry out attacks.
At the Swedish clinic, Samour said he saw seven Hamas operatives inside. They were dressed in civilian clothes, but when asked how he knew they were Hamas, he replied, "They were armed. And I know one of them was from Hamas."He said they came and went and that they appeared to feel safe inside the clinic, preparing for attacks inside the clinic and then returning "because it was secure, no one could locate them there."Samour said the terrorists did the same things at Rantisi "on a larger scale.""There were so many of them, it was actually really scary. I was there for about five days and I was terrified."Shifa Hospital, located in the North Rimal neighbourhood and boasting 570 beds, is Gaza's largest medical centre, serving the medical needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. It was originally built by the British authorities in 1946. In the 1980s, Israel renovated and expanded Shifa as part of an initiative to improve Gaza living conditions.
As far back as 2009, the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) reported during the Gaza war of that year that Hamas operatives were hiding in the hospital and that the basement had become Hamas's headquarters.
As the Tazpit Press Service reported, in addition to being used to hide Hamas leaders and hostages, the terror group is known to have launched rockets, tortured suspected collaborators and hoarded a half-million liters of fuel in the hospital compound.
A senior officer in Unit 505 said that since Oct. 7, "we have received thousands of phone calls from collaborators, on a scale never before seen in the unit."The officer added, "It is evident that the residents of the Gaza Strip are not satisfied with the barbaric behaviour of Hamas; the ordinary citizen understands that Hamas is bringing a disaster on the residents of Gaza that will be difficult for them to recover from." (ANI/TPS)