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Al-Shifa Hospital: Most Prominent Evidence Debunking the Israeli Claims During the Gaza War

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
4th April 2024
Al-Shifa Hospital: Most Prominent Evidence Debunking the Israeli Claims During the Gaza War
Misbar revealed numerous Israeli claims (Getty)

Since the first month of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in October 2023, the occupation has been broadcasting claims about the existence of Hamas headquarters beneath Al-Shifa Hospital building. However, no evidence has been provided to substantiate these claims. Despite initial denials from Israeli officials regarding the targeting of Al-Shifa Hospital, reports and evidence of Israeli airstrikes on the hospital have been consistent since the beginning of the war. Additionally, Israeli authorities have stated that they were targeting Hamas members located near the hospital, alleging the existence of a safe passage south of the hospital. Nonetheless, the facts suggest that Israel was targeting individuals attempting to leave the hospital through the mentioned pathway.

The recurring allegations have raised a wave of inquiries and denunciations, especially given that such allegations about the presence of Hamas headquarters are not new to Israel. They have been promoted for years, and since the onset of this war, through a media campaign, they have revived the narrative that originated during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in 2014, regarding the presence of senior Hamas leaders and their main command headquarters beneath Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. After this campaign of allegations promoted by governmental and military occupation spokesmen, as well as by the media, and social media influencers, the hospital was eventually raided on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. During the storming, the occupation army persisted in disseminating misleading allegations to justify its attack on the hospital and manipulated the placement of weapons within Al-Shifa to promote its story. However, it ultimately failed to prove its claims.

The accounts promoting the Israeli narrative also contributed to the publication of false claims concerning Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Some of these accounts alleged that Hamas fighters raided the hospital and looted medicine and fuel, resulting in disruptions to patient care and urging citizens to evacuate. Additionally, other accounts shared deceptive videos showing frightened patients within the hospital, falsely claiming that clashes had erupted between Israeli soldiers and Hamas members inside Al-Shifa Hospital in order to propagate the idea that there were Hamas fighters present.

The Western media embraced the Israeli army's assertions regarding Al-Shifa Hospital, despite Israel's failure to provide substantiated proof or evidence. Without scrutinizing Israel's claims, Western media outlets adopted them unquestioningly. Some Western media quoted Israeli officials alleging that Al-Shifa Hospital constituted a "legitimate military target" due to Hamas constructing a substantial facility beneath it. Moreover, Western media extensively covered the issue, echoing the Israeli narrative about the hospital since the onset of the current war in October 2023.

Despite the emergence of ample evidence showing the weakness of the Israeli claim regarding the presence of Hamas headquarters beneath Al-Shifa Hospital, Misbar discovered that Western media outlets failed to correct the false claims they had reiterated about the hospital. They did not issue any corrections or apologies for the inaccurate information they had disseminated, despite the abundance of evidence refuting Israel's assertion.

The occupation forces did not stop at just one raid on Al-Shifa Medical Complex; they returned for a second raid at dawn on Monday, March 18, 2024, resulting in casualties, injuries, and the arrest of dozens. The bodies of the victims were left scattered in the hospital courtyards and surrounding roads, as reported by medical sources.

Israeli Claims of Hamas Headquarters Existing Beneath Al-Shifa Hospital

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari held a press conference on Friday, October 27, 2023, showcasing images and scenes to the global press. He claimed that these materials unveiled a significant portion of intelligence information gathered by the Israeli army and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), serving as verifiable proof of Hamas headquarters existing beneath and within the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the Gaza Strip.

He further claimed the existence of a tunnel linking to the hospital, providing direct access to Hamas headquarters without going through the hospital. Additionally, he stated that the medical complex contains several underground facilities where Hamas leaders coordinate their activities. Moreover, he alleged the presence of a Hamas-affiliated internal security monitoring center within the hospital, staffed primarily by armed individuals, operating in both regular and emergency situations. According to his assertions, Hamas launches rockets from its location, targets Israeli soldiers, and stores weapons and ammunition.

The spokesman continued, stating that the hospital “houses 1,500 beds and approximately 4,000 employees, whom Hamas utilizes as human shields.”

Lack of Evidence to Support Israeli Claims of Hamas Headquarters Beneath Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital

Misbar responded to Hagari's allegations in a thorough report, demonstrating that the locations indicated by the occupation as Hamas headquarters and points inside Al-Shifa Hospital were actually some medical facilities within the hospital's internal departments and parts of the complex above ground, rather than beneath it. These areas were heavily populated with patients, injured individuals, medical staff, and displaced people.

Misbar revealed that each of the departments alleged by the occupation to be Hamas headquarters serves a specific medical function. These include the reception and emergency department building, the outpatient clinics building, the intensive care building, the dialysis building, and the nursery building.

Misbar also indicated that the animation video released by Israel for Al-Shifa Hospital displays animations that provide unclear information. It is haphazardly designed in a manner that lacks logic, raising doubts about its claims.

Israel Storms Al-Shifa Hospital Without Evidence That It Is a Hamas Headquarters

Before the Israeli army stormed the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the Gaza Strip, Israel made every effort to justify its claims that the complex serves as a headquarters for the Hamas movement, from which it plans attacks on Israel. Despite the evidence presented not fully substantiating these claims, according to a report by The Guardian, the Israeli army forces still raided Al-Shifa Hospital and carried out their assault.

The British newspaper, in its report, referenced an analysis by the BBC indicating that footage of the Israeli army spokesman seemingly discovering a bag containing a weapon behind an MRI machine was recorded hours before the arrival of the journalists he was supposed to present it to.

According to the report, in another clip shown later, the number of weapons in the bag was quadrupled. The Israeli forces claimed that these scenes depicted their findings in the hospital and were captured in a single recording without any editing. However, the BBC's analysis revealed that the scenes had indeed been edited and manipulated.

The Guardian: Insufficient Israeli Evidence Linking Al-Shifa Hospital to Hamas Headquarters

For certain Western media outlets, these allegations served their purpose well, as they were used to justify Israel's military campaign against Gaza's health facilities, notably Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in Gaza. However, despite the lack of compelling evidence, several Western media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, and The Telegraph, uncritically reported the Israeli occupation's claims as facts without thorough verification.

Furthermore, as evidence accumulated to debunk Israel's claims regarding the presence of Hamas headquarters beneath Al-Shifa Hospital, Misbar reviewed what was published by Western media about Israeli allegations concerning the hospital. It found that all the news and reports that promoted the Israeli narrative during the first three months of the war remained unchanged, with no corrections or apologies made for the inaccurate information provided.

The Western Media Did Not Correct Fake Claims About Al-Shifa Hospital

Israel Denies Targeting or Besieging Al-Shifa Hospital

Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army spokesman for Arab media, claimed in a video posted on his personal account on X that the media is falsely stating that Israel is targeting Al-Shifa Hospital. He asserted that clashes occurred in the vicinity of the hospital with Hamas fighters, denying any siege or targeting of the hospital and stating that anyone could leave the hospital if they wanted to.

Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israeli army, also said that Israel did not target Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. He emphasized that it was Hamas who chose to engage in combat near the hospital. According to him, the targeting is directed towards Hamas members, and he affirmed the existence of a permanent and secure passage south of Al-Shifa Hospital.

In a comprehensive investigation, Misbar debunked these claims and exposed that the reality is opposite to what the Israeli army spokespersons described. The occupation targets those attempting to leave Al-Shifa Hospital, and due to the dire conditions there, everyone in the hospital is subjected to severe risk, with no access to food, water, or electricity.

Israel Targets and Besieges Al-Shifa Hospital Contrary to its Officials' Claims

Israeli Army’s Fabrication of Weapon Presence in Al-Shifa Hospital

A crew from the American Fox News network documented the Israeli army's raid on the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, November 15.

Misbar compared the footage released by the Israeli occupying army with that presented in Fox News' video report, featuring journalist Trey Yingst navigating the area while the Israeli army conducted its operation at the medical complex. In a detailed investigation, Misbar highlighted discrepancies between the footage shown by the American network and that of the occupying army. This investigation reveals the Israeli army's manipulation of the situation, including the placement of weapons inside the hospital, to justify its attack.

How Did the Israeli Army Manipulate the Placement of Weapons Inside Al-Shifa Hospital?

At the conclusion of the report, Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst stated that the Israeli army did not uncover any tunnels beneath the hospital and affirmed that only automatic rifles were shown in the MRI room. Misbar cast doubt on this narrative and published a report outlining the inconsistencies in the Israeli claims regarding Al-Shifa Hospital.

In its report, Misbar also examined the weak evidence continuously disseminated by the Israeli army after the initial raid on the Al-Shifa Medical Complex. This evidence was utilized to assert findings of weapons and indications of previous armed activity within the facility, which can be accessed here.

Israel’s Weak Evidence on Al-Shifa Hospital’s Armed Individuals

Israeli Soldiers Photographed With Newborns to Enhance Military Image

The official Israeli accounts in Arabic, on the platforms X and Facebook, shared a picture showing two Israeli soldiers in a newborn baby room, accompanied by a caption: 'A new life and renewed hopes for living in peace and security with our neighbors, the strongest driver to eliminate the evil of Hamas.' Users claimed that the photo was taken at Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip after sharing it on their accounts.

Upon investigation by Misbar, it was found that the claim attached to the circulated image was misleading. The image actually depicts Israeli children in a medical care facility called Shamir Maternity, situated in the Be’er Yaakov settlement, southeast of Tel Aviv. The source that shared the photo clarified that it features "two Israeli recruits (Avitar and Moore) checking on their two children after they returned from fighting on a short vacation."

The photo was published about a week before the Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Shifa Hospital on November 8, 2023. It does not show the Israelis’ interest and care for the premature babies in Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

Israeli Soldiers Photographed With Newborns to Enhance Military Image

Israel Fabricates a Video of a Nurse Claiming To Speak From Inside Al-Shifa Hospital

A video purportedly featuring a Palestinian nurse speaking from inside Al-Shifa Hospital was shared by Israeli accounts. The nurse appeared distressed and spoke in both English and Arabic, claiming that Hamas militants had attacked the hospital, stolen medicine and fuel, leading to disruption in patient care. She urged civilians to leave Al-Shifa Hospital.

The video spread widely, and it was observed that the nurse's accent was not Arabic. This prompted journalist Younis Al-Tirawi to contact doctors within Al-Shifa Hospital. In a post on the "X" platform, he clarified, "I have just spoken with several doctors and nurses from Al-Shifa Hospital, and they all responded in a statement: We do not know this woman, she has never worked here before, and we have never seen her before in the hospital." Some members of the "X" community notes page noticed that the nurse's accent resembled Hebrew, particularly in her pronunciation of the letters "Taa," "Haa," and "Ayn."

When Misbar reviewed recent footage from Al-Shifa Hospital and compared it with the nurse's video, it observed differences in the attire and equipment of the doctors as well as in the hospital environment. Misbar also analyzed the audio in the video and found a high likelihood that it had been edited. Tracking the network of video publishers on social media, Misbar uncovered evidence that increases suspicions about the source of this video and suggests an organized propaganda campaign similar to the tactics of "electronic armies."

Panic at the Hospital: Unrelated to Al-Shifa Complex Clashes

Accounts on the social media platform X posted a video purportedly documenting clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli soldiers inside Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023. Additionally, they claimed that this video served as evidence contradicting assertions that there were no Hamas members inside the hospital.

Upon closer inspection by Misbar, it became clear that this claim is misleading. The video actually documents the Israeli occupation's bombardment of the vicinity of the Indonesian hospital on November 9, 2023, and shows the state of panic and fear among the displaced citizens inside the hospital, rather than depicting any clashes between the resistance and Israeli occupation forces at Al-Shifa Hospital.

The Video Does Not Show Clashes in Al-Shifa Hospital After It Was Invaded

The Second Raid on Al-Shifa Medical Complex: Exposing Key Misinformation

Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa Medical Complex, located west of Gaza City, at dawn on Monday, March 18, 2024. Tanks and Israeli military vehicles swiftly infiltrated the area under intense gunfire cover, besieging Al-Shifa Hospital before launching artillery shells and drones at its premises.

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari claimed that the Israeli forces executed the second raid on Al-Shifa Medical Complex after receiving intelligence indicating the presence of Hamas officials operating inside it against Israel.

On the 178th day of the war on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army fully withdrew from inside Al-Shifa Hospital and its surroundings after an operation that lasted for about two weeks.

The Second Raid on Al-Shifa Medical Complex

Ismail Al-Thawabta, the Director General of the Government Media Office, condemned the destruction of the Al-Shifa Complex in a report to Al Jazeera. Al-Thawabta held the occupation responsible, describing the events in the complex as a "humanitarian catastrophe." He stated that the medical teams at Al-Shifa Complex had recorded around 300 fatalities following this incursion, with the number expected to rise to 400 inside and around the complex. He also mentioned that over 300 individuals were abducted by the occupation forces and taken to undisclosed detention centers, and extensive damage was inflicted on the building.

The Video Does Not Capture Latest Israeli Attack on Al-Shifa Complex

Accounts on the X platform shared a video recently, claiming it depicted fiery explosions targeting the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza following its second storming.

Upon investigation by Misbar, the claim was found to be misleading, as the video showed fiery belts targeting the Al-Qarara and Hamad Town areas, located north of Khan Yunis, on March 3, 2024.

The Video Does Not Capture Latest Israeli Attack on Al-Shifa Complex

Old Photo: No Israeli Tanks Surround Al-Shifa Medical Complex Recently

In social media, a picture has been circulating, claimed by its sharers to depict Israeli tanks recently surrounding the perimeter of Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

When Misbar investigated the truth behind this image, it was discovered that it dates back to November 1, 2023. It depicts armored vehicles belonging to the Israeli occupation army during its war against Gaza. The Israeli occupation army published this image at the time, stating it was in Gaza, without specifying the exact location of its capture.

This Photo of Israeli Tanks Is Not Related to the Latest Israeli Invasion of al-Shifa Hospital

Old Picture: No Recent Arrests at Al-Shifa Complex During Latest Raid

Recently, on social media platforms, a photo has been circulating, with its publishers claiming that it depicts the Israeli army arresting workers at Al-Shifa Medical Complex following the second incursion in the ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

However, Misbar's investigation revealed that the photo was posted on an Israeli Instagram account named Gold Horizon, which identifies itself as a photography account.

This account posted the photo on February 3, 2024, along with a series of other photos depicting Israeli occupation soldiers standing near Palestinian detainees who were tied up and stripped of their clothes. The user of the account claimed that the photos were taken at the Indonesian hospital.

No Recent Arrests at Al-Shifa Complex During Latest Raid

The Image Is Old and Does Not Depict Israeli Forces Attacking Palestinian Woman at Al-Shifa Hospital

Recently on X platform, a photo has been circulating, claiming to depict Israeli forces assaulting a Palestinian woman, followed by her rape, at Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza. This coincides with reports of rape cases surfacing in the region.

However, Misbar's investigation uncovered that the photo dates back to May 10, 2021, and it depicts the Israeli police arresting a Palestinian woman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem during protests against the forced displacement of Palestinian families from the area.

The Image Is Old and Does Not Depict Israeli Forces Attacking Palestinian Woman at Al-Shifa Hospital

As the Israeli aggression on Gaza persists, the Misbar team continues to track the claims gaining traction in the media and on social media platforms, working to debunk the occupation's assertions. You can access these reports on the Gaza War.

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