Israel’s Defence Forces have released shocking footage tonight revealing what it claims is a huge Hamas tunnel buried deep below the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
The military, who have been carrying out an operation at the medical complex over the last week, said it had found a 55-metre-long underground passage 10-metres below the ground.
Officials said it had found a deep staircase equipped with ‘various defence mechanisms’ including a blast-proof door with a firing hole claiming the terror group were using the entrance to block out Israeli forces.
Israel has long claimed the hospital – which is the largest in the Palestinian enclave – functions as a command complex for Hamas, with a network of tunnels running deep below used for both ammunition storage and planning.
Palestinian officials at the hospital have denied the claims and insisted the complex is used solely for medical reasons and in recent days it has become a shelter for refugees.
As the war enters its seventh week, the hospital has become a central location in the bloody conflict.
Since beginning its operation in the area on Wednesday, the IDF said it found the bodies of two hostages – Israeli soldier Noa Marciano, 19, and cancer patient Yehudit Weiss, 65, – in a building next to the hospital. Officials say others were most likely kept there.
Earlier in the week the force claimed an entrance to another tunnel shaft had been discovered but tonight marks the first time any video has been made public.
It was also revealed today that troops had allegedly discovered a white Toyota pickup truck containing ‘RPGs, explosives, grenades, AK47s,’ inside the hospital compound ‘identical’ to those used by Hamas during the October 7 attacks.
The footage comes just hours after Israeli forces said it found 35 tunnel shafts throughout Gaza and raided the luxury homes of Hamas terrorists, seizing various weapons.
Israel’s Defence Force has released shocking footage tonight revealing what it claims is a huge Hamas tunnel buried deep below the al Shifa hospital in Gaza City
Israeli soldiers inspect the al-Shifa hospital complex, amid their ground operation against Hamas, in Gaza City, November 15, 2023
Providing an operational update on X, the force said: ‘IDF and ISA forces revealed a significant 55-meter-long terrorist tunnel, 10 meters underneath the Shifa Hospital complex during an intelligence-based operation.
‘The tunnel entrance contains various defense mechanisms, such as a blast-proof door and a firing hole, in an attempt by Hamas to block Israeli forces from entering.’
Daniel Hagari, the IDF’s military spokesperson, said the entrance was uncovered when a military bulldozer knocked down the outside wall of the hospital complex.
Soldiers then found a fortified shaft with a spiral staircase descending deep under the complex before reaching a blast door.
Mr Hagari said his troops are yet to open the door over fears it would be booby trapped.
Israeli intelligence, however, suggests that either the tunnel would either split or there would be ‘a big room for command and control’. Forces will instead continue to search the area looking for shafts from nearby houses.
The Israeli army first entered Al Shifa hospital on Wednesday, claiming ‘around 2,000 people were inside’.
Yesterday, hundreds of civilians and health workers were forced to flea the hospital on foot after Israeli troops ordered an evacuation on loudspeakers.
Health officials in Gaza said 450 patients had been left inside the hospital after the army was warned many were too sick or wounded too escape.
Tonight Israel released video footage of a tunnel that it claims was under the al Shifa hospital in Gaza City
Drone footage allegedly shows a shaft leading to a tunnel which the Israeli military says has been used by Hamas terrorists
Israeli forces said they had found tunnel shafts last week but this is the first time video footage has been revealed
Earlier today paratroopers from the Nihal Brigade backed up with tanks, airforce jets and armed with rocket launchers launched a series of raids in the heart of Gaza city.
Six weeks into the war against Hamas after the attacks left more than 1,200 people dead on October 7, they carried out operations in the Sheikh Ejlin and Rimal neighbourhoods.
Officials said the areas were ‘upmarket’ and where senior figures in the terror group lived and footage released showed soldiers attacking buildings with tanks and rocket propelled grenades.
Following the operation, items seized were put on display and they included guns, ammunition, rockets and lap tops and other documents which were being examined by intelligence chiefs.
In addition, 35 tunnel shafts were discovered and a training camp used by Hamas military intelligence was also stormed with ‘several terrorists’ killed.
The Rimal neighbourhood is considered the luxury district of the Gaza Strip, where senior commanders of Hamas lived and used the civilian space for activity and directing terrorism.
Within the area there are also military posts and government buildings.
IDF forces from the Nahal Brigade located a terrorist squad that was about to fire on the troops from the roof of an apartment and a jet was called in to strafe the building.
A major from the Brigade said: ‘During searches of the Rimal area, we located a large number of weapons belonging to Hamas terrorists, including laptops, memory devices and technical documents.
‘Other combat items including uniforms and shirts, knee pads and ammunition.
‘Many of the documents contain details on psychological warfare and information about IDF and how to carry out ambushes.’
Paratroopers from the Nihal Brigade backed up with tanks, airforce jets and armed with rocket launchers launched a series of raids in the heart of Gaza city
Footage shows tanks rolling in and Israeli soldiers firing at buildings as they continue to pummel Gaza
Some 35 tunnel shafts were discovered and a training camp used by Hamas military intelligence was also stormed with ‘several terrorists’ killed
The Rimal neighbourhood is considered the luxury district of the Gaza Strip, where senior commanders of Hamas lived and used the civilian space for activity
Israeli troops are seen lining up as they continue to carry out attacks in Gaza and raid homes of Hamas terrorists
Israeli forces are seen amongst the rubble in Gaza as they carry out raids on the enemy
Israel says more than 372 soldiers have been killed since October 7 with 52 dying since the ground operation started last month with the death toll in Gaza more than 12,000
IDF officials said its forces were working through the northern Gaza Strip and focusing on Jabaliya, Zeytun and Beit Lahia and navy ships were also used to pound the area from the sea.
Israel says more than 372 soldiers have been killed since October 7 with 52 dying since the ground operation started last month with the death toll in Gaza more than 12,000.