April 1, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Ends Two-Week Sweep of Shifa Hospital, Medical Care Continues

April 1, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Ends Two-Week Sweep of Shifa Hospital, Medical Care Continues

Latest Developments

Israeli forces withdrew on April 1 from Shifa Hospital after a two-week operation against Palestinian terrorists holing up in the Gaza Strip’s biggest healthcare center. Commandos launched the surprise raid on Shifa on March 18 based on information that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, having seen their battalions decimated in battles elsewhere in northern Gaza, were using the facility to regroup. In the ensuing searches and clashes that ravaged much of the campus, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed more than 200 terrorists, including senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members, and detained another 500. Two IDF soldiers were also killed in the fighting.

“No hospital in the world looks like this. This is what a house of terrorists looks like,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement on March 31. Still, the IDF said, Israel took measures to ensure that civilians were unharmed and patients continued to receive care. The IDF operators included medical doctors tasked with reinforcing Shifa staff where required.

The IDF has also been conducting searches at Nasser Hospital in southern Khan Younis, where two soldiers at a lookout position were killed by a Palestinian RPG attack on March 29. On March 31, an Israeli air strike reportedly killed four members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who had set up a command center among media tents in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah.

Expert Analysis

“Now that the Israelis have left Shifa after a highly successful counterterrorism operation, we should brace for a deluge of false accounts of ‘war crimes’ in a place of ‘protected status.’ But the truth is that the IDF was perfectly entitled to conduct searches for terrorists, not least as it ensured continued care for actual patients. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were the parties that violated the hospital’s protected status by turning it into a terrorist command center for their fighters and weapons and by opening fire on the IDF from within medical wards.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The Shifa Hospital operation proved to be a success for the Israeli military. While the apprehension and elimination of hundreds of terrorists is certainly noteworthy, the actual value lies in the intelligence gathered during the operation. This critical intelligence could potentially lead to the location of hostages and key Hamas figures who have so far evaded capture.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Eliminates Senior Hamas Terrorists at Shifa Hospital,” FDD Flash Brief

How did 500 terrorists return to Shifa Hospital?” by Seth J. Frantzman

Israeli Forces Find ‘Large Amount of Military Equipment’ at Shifa Hospital,” FDD Flash Brief

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


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