IDF Eliminates 90 Terrorists, Apprehends Hundreds in Raid on Gaza Shifa Hospital Complex

2024-03-20 12:22:47

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) eliminated around 90 terrorists and caught hundreds others as part of the raid on Gaza’s Shifa hospital being used a Hamas base.

“The IDF said 350 suspects were arrested in the raid conducted by the 401st Brigade, the elite Duvdevan and Shayetet 13, and Shin Bet forces,” the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported Wednesday evening. 

The military also recovered large amount of weapons from the hospital. “The raid uncovered AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, magazines, mortars, grenades, RPGs, and combat gear.” the TV channel added.

The main objective behind the raid on Shifa is to target Hamas’s top leadership. “[W]e are aiming at senior leaders,” IDF chief of staff , Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, said during a visit to the site of the raid on Wednesday evening. The operation will help raise “pressure on the negotiations” aimed at releasing the hostages, the IDF chief added. 

Several ‘senior Hamas terrorists,’ including the head of the terrorist group’s internal security, were killed while they were ‘conducting  and promoting terrorist activity’ from Shifa hospital located in the heart of Gaza City, the IDF said in a press release.

The Israeli troops were forced to raid the hospital for the second time — after a similar operation in mid-November. The hospital, Gaza’s biggest medical facility, was being used a terrorist base for attacking Israeli troops. During the previous operation, the military “found Hamas weapons and combat gear in Al Shifa hospital,” the Reuters noted at that time. 

Hamas has built a vast tunnel complex around the hospital, using it for weapons storage and hideout for terrorists. Hamas “used the hospital for cover, stored weapons inside it, and maintained a hardened tunnel beneath the complex that was supplied with water, power, and air-conditioning,” the New York Times reported February 12 citing IDF intelligence. 

The newspaper Israel Hayom reported the details of the operation in Shifa:

The IDF said on Wednesday it had killed around 90 gunmen and arrested 160 in a raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital.

“Over the past day, the troops have eliminated terrorists and located weapons in the hospital area, while preventing harm to civilians, patients, medical teams, and medical equipment,” the military said in a statement.

The military said Tuesday that forces have arrested around 180 suspects. Israel launched the raid at Shifa Hospital overnight into Monday, saying Hamas had regrouped in the compound and was directing attacks from it. The military said gunmen fired on its forces from inside and that one of its soldiers was killed during the raid.

The army said it killed a senior Hamas militant who was armed and hiding inside the hospital. Palestinian officials said he was a senior commander in the Hamas-run police who was coordinating the protection of convoys.

One of the high-profile terrorists caught in Shifa was the mastermind of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in 2014. “The IDF and the Shin Bet on Wednesday announced that they had captured Mahmoud Kawasme – the last remaining conspirator at large from the Hamas murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014 – as part of their operations to retake Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza,” the Jerusalem Post reported. 

The IDF will keep protecting Gaza civilians despite Hamas endangering their lives by using hospital, mosques, schools and other public facilities as staging grounds for ambushing Israeli soldiers, the military assured.

“The IDF will continue to act in accordance with international law and against the Hamas terrorist organization – which operates from hospitals and civilian infrastructure in a systematic and cynical way, without the distinction between the civilian population and the organization’s terrorists,” the IDF statement added. 

Netanyahu tells Biden: Victory over Hamas impossible without entering Rafah

Israel is “determined to achieve total victory” over Hamas, even if it means going against the wishes of the Biden White House, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday while revealing the details of a telephone call with the U.S. president that took place on Monday.

“I told the President: It is impossible to defeat Hamas without the IDF entering the Gaza Strip. In our latest conversation, I told him: It is impossible to complete the victory without the IDF entering Rafah in order to eliminate the remnants of Hamas’s battalions,” the Israeli PM said in a statement release on Wednesday.

Israel will evacuate civilian population as part of the operation in Rafah, Netanyahu assured. “I want you to know that I have already approved the IDF’s operational plan, and soon we will also approve the plan to evacuate the civilian population from the battle zones,” he added, addressing the Israeli people.

The Israeli armed forces were destroying Hamas’s terrorist fighting capabilities across Gaza, particularly around the Shifa compound, as they gear up for a major offensive on Rafah stronghold, the Israeli leader said. 

“As we are preparing to enter Rafah, and this will take a little time, we are continuing to operate with full force. We are continuing to operate in Khan Yunis, in the camps in the center, in eliminating and capturing senior Hamas officials as we have just done in Shifa, and in eliminating hundreds of terrorists,” he concluded. 

According to recent reports in Politico and other U.S. news outlets, the Biden administration had laid down a ‘red line’ warning the Israeli government not to launch a large-scale operation against the last terrorist stronghold of Rafah, where Hamas leaders are hiding and the remaining Israeli hostages are believed to be kept as human shields. 


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IDF Eliminates 90 Terrorists, Apprehends Hundreds in Raid on Gaza Shifa Hospital Complex


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