November 20, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Took Hostages to Al-Shifa Hospital

November 20, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Took Hostages to Al-Shifa Hospital

Latest Developments

Israel released new footage on November 19 revealing that Hamas terrorists took hostages to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. This development provides further evidence that Hamas used the hospital for terrorist operations and that armed men — seen in the videos — were present at Gaza’s largest medical facility. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that Hamas used the hospital as terrorist infrastructure “in a systematic and ongoing manner.” The two hostages seen in the new footage are a Nepalese and Thai civilian, the IDF said.

Expert Analysis

“Footage of Hamas gunmen transporting hostages to Gaza’s largest hospital illustrates how Hamas felt at ease using this hospital for its needs. It also shows the terrorists were able to take the hostages out of the hospital. This requires investigation as to why organizations involved with the hospital did not alert the world about the terrorist presence.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“It has become glaringly evident that hostages were taken to Shifa, corroborating an open secret long known to many that Hamas uses the hospital as a base of operations. It is crucial to understand that Hamas will exploit every available resource, even hospitals, either to protect themselves or for use against Israel.” —Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Gunmen in Hospital Hallways

Two videos released by the IDF show gunmen bringing two men to the hospital. “Hostages abducted from Israeli territory are seen surrounded by armed Hamas terrorists. One of the hostages is injured and is being carried on a hospital bed and the other is walking,” the IDF said. The IDF discovered guns and other weapons in Al-Shifa Hospital two weeks after the ground invasion of Gaza began in late October. On November 15, the IDF showed a cache of weapons found in the hospital. U.S. intelligence assesses that Hamas has a terrorist command node at the hospital.

Bodies of Hostages Found Near Hospital

On November 17, the IDF said it had identified the bodies of two Israeli hostages found near Al-Shifa Hospital. The body of 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss, a teacher, was found by the IDF near the hospital on November 16. Terrorists kidnapped her from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. IDF soldier Corporal Noa Marciano’s body was also found by the IDF near the hospital. Marciano was wounded in an IDF strike on November 9 while in Hamas custody, the IDF said. “Based on a preliminary pathological report, as well as IDF and [Israel Security Agency] intelligence, it was revealed that Noa’s injury was not life-threatening, and she was murdered by a Hamas terrorist in the Shifa Hospital,” the IDF said.

Remains of Two Israeli Hostages Recovered from Near Shifa Hospital,” FDD Flash Brief

Shifa Neonatal Unit Evacuated, Egypt to Take Patients,” FDD Flash Brief

Shifa hospital the focus of IDF ground operations in Gaza,” by Seth J. Frantzman


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