November 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Gaza Hospital Basement Used to Confine Hostages, Israel Finds

November 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Gaza Hospital Basement Used to Confine Hostages, Israel Finds

Latest Developments

Hamas used one of Gaza’s six hospitals to hold hostages seized from Israel on October 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed on November 13. The chief IDF spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, disclosed in a televised briefing that he saw the evidence when he was in Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City with his former unit, Flotilla 13, Israel’s counterpart to the U.S. Navy SEALs. The Palestinians had evacuated the hospital as Israeli forces pressed into the heart of Hamas operations in the Gaza Strip over the last two weeks.

Among the IDF’s findings, Hagari said, was that a tunnel ran from a nearby terrorist commander’s home to Rantisi, and that the hospital basement contained objects showing that it had been used to house hostages. These included a chair with leg binding, a baby’s bottle and diapers, discarded women’s clothing, a curtain against a wall that appeared designed to serve as a backdrop for hostage videos, a guard log, and an improvised toilet, shower, kitchen and ventilation unit.

Also found in the hospital was a motorbike used during the October 7 killing and kidnapping spree by Hamas in southern Israel, as well as munitions, including RPG launchers, Hagari revealed. “We will free our hostages from Gaza, and free Gaza from Hamas — for the sake of the people of Israel, for the people of Gaza as well, and the world,” he said.

Expert Analysis

“This breathtaking indictment of Hamas’s wicked tactics comes after a weekend of mounting international scrutiny of the Israeli encirclement of Gazan hospitals. There can be no doubt now that these sites, which should be off-limits to any military, have been exploited in the worst possible way by Palestinian terrorists. One wonders what the Israelis will find when they finally move into the biggest of Gaza’s hospitals, Shifa, and prove that it conceals Hamas headquarters.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“By embedding military activities in hospitals, Hamas has chosen to hide behind Gaza’s most vulnerable. The world must hold Hamas accountable for putting hospitals in harm’s way. While Hamas hoards fuel, the people of Gaza suffer. If Hamas had a shred of humanity, it would surrender now, return Israel’s hostages, and allow the people of Gaza to begin rebuilding their lives.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Gaza hospitals and Nasrallah threats challenge IDF,” by Seth J. Frantzman

Israel Enables Gaza Civilian Evacuations While Battling Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

10 Things to Know About Hamas Tunnels,” FDD Insight

10 Things to Know About Hamas and Hospitals,” FDD Insight


Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics