November 20, 2023 | New York Post

How many aid groups knew Hamas was hiding in a hospital and lied about it?

November 20, 2023 | New York Post

How many aid groups knew Hamas was hiding in a hospital and lied about it?

Hamas used Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital as a base of terror operations. That’s the obvious conclusion following Sunday’s discovery of a large terror tunnel under the hospital along with videos of Hamas bringing Israeli hostages inside.

Now comes an important question for Congress: Which US-funded international organizations knew the truth about al-Shifa and helped Hamas conceal its war crimes?

The Israel Defense Forces this weekend discovered a tunnel beneath al-Shifa Hospital that extends 10 meters down and 55 meters across — leading to what might be a booby-trapped door. Special units that specialize in handling explosives have been summoned to break through to the next section.

Meanwhile, Israel also released security footage showing two hostages brought through al-Shifa by Hamas terrorists following the Oct. 7 massacre as hospital workers looked on — suggesting a widespread conspiracy to conceal both the presence of hostages at al-Shifa and Hamas’ terror infrastructure within the compound.

Israel last week found two other hostages dead near al-Shifa. One of them, according to Israel, was murdered inside the hospital.

That Hamas has long denied it used al-Shifa as a terror site is not surprising. Nor is it shocking to learn the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health — the same one that reports civilian casualty numbers — has been lying about al-Shifa’s true terror nature all along.

What should be showstopping, however, is the possible complicity of prominent international organizations that receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the United States — groups that are supposed to uphold international law but appear to have enabled Hamas war crimes instead.

Within days of the Hamas massacre, Fabrizio Carboni, the Middle East regional director for the International Committee of the Red Cross, began spreading Hamas disinformation — telling international media that Gaza “hospitals risk turning into morgues.”

When Carboni said this, he may have already known that hospitals in Gaza were used as terror bases and hostages were being stashed under those hospitals.

In the days that followed Israel’s first public messaging that al-Shifa Hospital is a key Hamas terror site — an indication that the Israel Defense Forces at some point would seek to remove Hamas from that hospital — Carboni kicked into overdrive with propaganda designed to keep al-Shifa squarely in Hamas’ hands.

As the IDF approached al-Shifa, he claimed that “information coming from the al-Shifa Hospital is distressing. It cannot continue like this. Thousands of wounded, displaced people and medical staff are at risk. They need to be protected in line with the laws of war.”

Carboni apparently forgot to mention how Hamas is the party violating the laws of war by basing terror operations inside a hospital — and hiding the very hostages the ICRC is sworn to protect in that hospital, too.

In its 2022 annual report, the ICRC says it received $689 million from the United States last year — roughly one-third of contributions received from all countries combined. That’s a lot of taxpayer money sent to an organization that may have betrayed its most fundamental duty to uphold the Geneva Conventions by covering up Hamas war crimes and abandoning Israeli hostages.

Another US-funded agency must answer for its complicity in these war crimes as well.

The World Health Organization, which received more than $100 million from Washington last year, joined the chorus of pressure on Israel to stay away from al-Shifa Hospital — telling global media that the hospital was no longer functioning and innocent patients were dying.

The same question to be posed to the ICRC must be posed to WHO: What did it know about terror tunnels under al-Shifa and when did it know it?

The IDF has already discovered similar tunnels at Gaza’s Rantisi Hospital along with evidence that hostages were held there, too. A baby bottle found on top of a box bearing the WHO logo completed the indictment of the agency’s complicity.

The ICRC and WHO have strong lobbies in Washington that will fight to protect their flow of taxpayer money. If, as expected, the State Department does nothing to hold these groups accountable, Congress — which holds their purse strings — should intervene. The first step: Investigate. The next: Put a pause on US funding until leadership changes and reforms guarantee that complicity in terrorist war crimes will never happen again.

Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former National Security Council official and senior US Senate aide.


International Organizations Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War