March 22, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Raid on Gaza Hospital Captures Largest Number of Terrorists Since War Began

March 22, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Raid on Gaza Hospital Captures Largest Number of Terrorists Since War Began

Latest Developments

The Israeli military captured 650 suspects, 358 of whom are Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, in a raid on Shifa Hospital, said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet on March 21. “The operation at the Shifa Hospital continues,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesperson. “This is the operation with the largest aggregation of terrorists we have apprehended since the beginning of the war.” He added, “They are surrendering, we are interrogating them, and they are providing us with very valuable and important intelligence.” Israeli troops previously secured the hospital complex in northern Gaza in November 2023 and found tunnels underneath the facility. Hamas has routinely exploited hospitals in Gaza for terrorist purposes, using them as command centers and concealing hostages in them.

Expert Analysis

“The raid on terrorists at Shifa Hospital is a significant victory for the IDF. The arrest of hundreds of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists is a serious setback for the terrorist groups. The discovery of so many terrorists hiding at this major hospital in Gaza illustrates how the terrorist groups use hospitals as command centers and how they believe they enjoy impunity.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“The arrests at Shifa Hospital serve as a stark reminder of the continued presence of Hamas and its partners in the northern Gaza Strip. They underscore the possible existence of hidden tunnels and clandestine areas where terrorist activities continue to thrive unbeknown to the IDF.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Shifa Hospital Raid Succeeded Due to Surprise Tactics

The IDF said that its successful capture of hundreds of terrorists at Shifa Hospital was due to the deceptive tactics it used. “This time we operated by surprise. We raided the compound by surprise,” said Hagari. He added: “We used deception tactics in this operation, and it was this that led to the success and apprehension of all 358 terrorists and there are more still inside this compound who haven’t managed to escape. This led to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad being severely damaged as a result of the operation.” The IDF deployed its elite Shayetet 13 naval commando special forces and other units for the raid.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commanders Arrested

The IDF arrested key commanders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad at the hospital. “Gaza City Intelligence Surveillance-Lookout Chief Husam Salame and Information Warfare Head Wasem Salame were both among the senior Islamic Jihad officials whom the IDF captured,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Hagari said the IDF apprehended three other members of the “chain of command of the Islamic Jihad.” These included Muhammad Jundia, commander of the Shejaiya Battalion of Islamic Jihad; Samir Ziad Abd Abu Odeh, commander of the Al-Shati sector in the rocket unit of Islamic Jihad; and Ahmad Samara, who was responsible for Islamic Jihad’s tunnels and underground terror infrastructure.

Israel Eliminates Key Hamas Terrorist Commanders in Rafah,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Member Admits It Uses Hospital as Command Center,” FDD Flash Brief

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


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