Israel Hamas War Palestine Israel Army Official Says Footage Linked To Hostages Found On Computers At Gaza Hospital

The images were found on equipment “belonging to Hamas”, the Israeli official said (File)


Israeli forces were searching building to building at Gaza’s main hospital Thursday as Hamas said the military had “destroyed” parts of the compound where deep concern has mounted for the up to thousands of Palestinians trapped inside.  

Soldiers raided the Al-Shifa a day ago in the hunt for a command centre they say the militants built below the complex, a charge denied by Hamas and leaders of the hospital that has become a focal point of the war.

The Israeli military said it found rifles, ammunition and explosives at the Gaza City complex, as well as computers and equipment containing “information and footage pertaining to the hostages” taken in Hamas’s shock October 7 attack on Israel.

“The soldiers are proceeding one building at a time, searching each floor, all while hundreds of patients and medical staff remain in the complex,” an Israeli army official said. 

Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesman for the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, told AFP Israeli troops “destroyed the radiology service, and bombed the burns and dialysis departments”.

“Thousands of women, children, sick and wounded are in danger of death,” he said.

Before Israel first sent troops into the hospital complex on Wednesday, UN agencies estimated that 2,300 patients, staff and displaced civilians were sheltering at Al-Shifa without enough food, water and fuel for generators.

Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas in retaliation for the attacks of October 7, which killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and saw about 240 people hostage, according to Israeli officials. 

The Israeli military says 51 of its troops have been killed in Gaza since fighting began.

But with the Hamas government media office saying the death count from the offensive has now topped 11,500, including thousands of children, calls for a truce are mounting.

Gaza’s 36 hospitals have been caught in the war, with more than half rendered non-functioning by shortages, combat and damage, the UN has said.

The Red Crescent said a “violent attack” was underway on Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital, which was hit by a deadly strike on October 17. 

Hamas blamed the blast on Israel, while Israel said a misfired Islamic Jihad group rocket was responsible, a position supported by US and some other western security officials.

“Israeli military tanks besiege Al-Ahli Baptist hospital in Gaza, and violent attack is underway. (Red Crescent) teams are unable to move and reach those who are injured,” the group said on social media.

‘Meaningless’ UN resolution

The UN Security Council on Wednesday set aside deep divisions over the conflict to agree a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in fighting.

The resolution — which passed with abstentions from the United States, Britain and Russia — called on Hamas and Israel to protect civilians, “especially children”.

Israel has agreed to temporary localised pauses in fighting, but has rejected calls for a broader ceasefire.

“The @UN Security Council’s resolution is disconnected from reality and is meaningless,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, wrote on X.

He also reiterated the Israeli government’s war aims, saying: “Israel will continue to act until Hamas is destroyed and the hostages are returned.”

The Israeli foreign ministry called Thursday on the Security Council and the international community to “stand firm on the prompt release” of all those kidnapped.

“Extended humanitarian pauses are untenable as long as 239 abductees remain in the hands of Hamas terrorists,” it said. 

Attack victim ‘believed in peace’

Israel has concentrated its heavy bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza City, announcing this week the seizure of the parliament building, government offices, Hamas police headquarters and key port.

Israel’s army claimed an initial raid in Al-Shifa had uncovered military equipment, weapons and what spokesman Daniel Hagari described as “an operational headquarters with comms equipment”.

A video narrated by another Israeli army spokesman showed rifles and ammunition magazines inside an area he identified as Al-Shifa’s MRI scanner building.

“This was hidden very conveniently, secretly behind the MRI machine, said the spokesman, Jonathan Conricus.

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza argued Wednesday the Israeli military did not find any weapons when it raided the hospital.

The death and suffering in the densely populated coastal territory has prompted growing concern for Gaza’s civilians, who have fled south to try to escape the heaviest combat.

Gaza City’s Al-Quds Hospital was evacuated during fighting in the area, forcing patients to make their way south to other facilities.

“We were in pain along the road… I feel pain in the knee,” said Ahmad Abou-Sabra, wounded evacuee.

“The situation was bad, and the distance. We stayed in the army (checkpoint) for more than two hours,” he told AFP at at a Palestinian Red Crescent hospital in Khan Yunis.

Over a month after the Hamas attack, mourners gathered for the funeral of 74-year-old Israeli-Canadian peace activist Vivian Silver whose killing was confirmed days ago. 

“Vivian was a woman who believed in peace. She was a woman who, in moments of despair, would bring us back the hope,” peace activist Ghadir Hani said. “She believed that, both in Gaza and around Gaza, we all deserve to live in peace.”

Call for war probe

UN human rights chief Volker Turk pointed to what he called serious allegations of international law violations in the Israel-Hamas war and suggested an international investigation was needed.

“Where national authorities prove unwilling or unable to carry out such investigations, and where there are contested narratives on particularly significant incidents, international investigation is called for,” he said in a briefing to UN member states in Geneva.

Polls in Israel show widespread public support for military action against Hamas following the October 7 attacks, the worst in the country’s history.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led Israel on-and-off for 16 years, is under intense domestic pressure to account for political and security failings surrounding the attack.

Protesters have taken to the streets demanding greater efforts to free the hostages.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Newsbust India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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