The military released two videos, one of which appeared to have been filmed by a drone and shows parts of a metal spiral staircase. A longer video, which appeared to have been recorded by a robot or a camera carried by an animal, starts out above ground and shows the descent to a cloister-like tunnel with utility cables along one wall that leads to what Israeli officials described as a blast-proof door.
The New York Times verified that both videos were recorded at al-Shifa Hospital, which Israeli forces stormed last week.
Hamas has denied Israeli accusations that it uses civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings, mosques and hospitals, to hide its military fortifications and command centres. The group says Israel is committing war crimes by targeting civilian centres.
The Israeli military also released videos later Sunday that it said showed two hostages being taken inside the hospital on October 7th, when Hamas launched a cross-border attack from the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials said that Hamas has used the hospital area for military operations.
Israeli officials said the second set of videos – which appeared to be from cameras mounted inside the hospital – were recorded hours after the Hamas raid into Israel and that they showed two hostages, one Thai and one Nepali, being escorted by armed fighters. The officials said they had no idea where the two hostages are now.
The Times verified the location of the footage as al-Shifa, but not the identities of those shown or the time stamps.
Gaza’s health ministry, controlled by Hamas, said in a statement that the authenticity of the videos could not be verified and took the opportunity to renew its criticism of Israel over a blockade that has led to a collapse of health services in the enclave to the deaths of hundreds of sick and injured.
“Given what the Israeli occupation reported, this confirms that the hospitals of the ministry of health provide their medical services to everyone who deserves them, regardless of their gender and race,” the ministry said.
The videos were released on the fifth day of the military’s operation inside the al-Shifa Hospital compound.
More than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7th, according to health officials in the Hamas-run enclave. Israel bombarded Gaza with airstrikes and subsequently launched a ground invasion of the territory in response to the surprise Hamas attack on southern Israel, in which about 1,200 people were killed and about 240 people were abducted and taken into Gaza.
The vast majority of those killed or taken hostage are civilians.
The Israeli military has also displayed some weaponry it says it found in various parts of the al-Shifa compound, as well as a white Toyota pickup truck of the type used by many Hamas commandos who breached the border with Israel.
But proof of an extensive Hamas command centre under the hospital has yet to be revealed.