February 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF: Hamas Held Hostages at Nasser Hospital

February 15, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF: Hamas Held Hostages at Nasser Hospital

Latest Developments

Hamas held hostages at Nasser Hospital in Gaza’s Khan Younis, Israel disclosed on February 15. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that Israel possesses “credible intelligence” that “there may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser Hospital facility.” Hagari noted that Hamas has systematically used hospitals as “terror hubs.” He urged Gazans in the vicinity of the hospital to “move away from the danger that Hamas puts them in, via a humanitarian corridor we opened for this purpose.” Hagari also said that the IDF “emphasized that there is no obligation for patients or staff to evacuate the hospital.”

The IDF has been fighting Hamas in Khan Younis for more than two months, and the hospital is one of the few areas the IDF has not been able to search since the conflict began. “Because Hamas terrorists are likely hiding behind injured civilians inside Nasser Hospital right now and appear to have used the hospital to hide our hostages there too, the IDF is conducting a precise and limited operation inside Nasser Hospital,” Hagari said.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas systematically used medical facilities in Gaza as cover for its terrorist activity. This attempt to exploit hospitals has made Israel’s operations in Gaza against the terrorist group more complex and challenging. Hamas must be held to account for its October 7 attack and for moving hostages to hospitals. The terrorist group’s illegal use of hospitals should be fully documented and its members brought to justice for exploiting protected facilities for terrorist purposes.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Israel has made it a priority to rescue all the hostages in Gaza. Thus, investigating what’s inside Nasser Hospital is imperative. Moreover, considering Hamas’s track record of using hospitals and other civilian infrastructure to carry out attacks against Israel, the IDF will likely find evidence of military operations.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

85 Percent of Medical Facilities Used by Hamas in Gaza

IDF intelligence assessments conclude that “over 85 percent” of major medical facilities in Gaza were used by Hamas for terrorist activity, the IDF spokesman said on February 15. “As was proven with the Shifa Hospital, Rantisi Hospital, Al Amal Hospital, and many other hospitals across Gaza, Hamas systematically uses hospitals as terror hubs,” Hagari said. In November, a Hamas commander held Gazans hostage in the Rantisi Hospital in northern Gaza. The New York Times concluded that Hamas used Shifa Hospital to store weapons and had a tunnel beneath the medical compound. Hamas transported hostages to several hospitals in Gaza after it attacked Israel on October 7. There are 134 hostages still held in Gaza. The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 31 of them.

Another Gaza Hospital Evacuated as New York Times Confirms Hamas Use of Al-Shifa,” FDD Flash Brief

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

Hamas Took Hostages to Al-Shifa Hospital,” FDD Flash Brief


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