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Washington Post: Shifa Hospital in Gaza City ‘Has Become a De Facto Headquarters for Hamas Leaders, Who Can Be Seen in Hallways and Offices’

July 21, 2014 11:00 am 16 comments
A screenshot of a Hamas diagram, filmed as part of an IDF video from 2009's Operation Cast Lead, showing how weapons are hidden by mosques. Photo: IDF / Screenshot.

A screenshot of a Hamas diagram, filmed as part of an IDF video from 2009's Operation Cast Lead, showing how weapons are hidden by mosques. Photo: IDF / Screenshot.

Contrary to international rules of warfare, Hamas has commandeered a large hospital in Gaza City as its “de facto headquarters,” the Washington Post reported.

Buried eight paragraphs in, The Post‘s correspondent, William Booth, wrote on July 15:

“At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling ‘unity government’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.”

Last week, The Post also reported, and also included near the end of an article, how Hamas was hiding rockets inside of a mosque, also against international rules of war. On Friday, buried toward’s the end of The Post’s dispatch from the front, one of its correspondents reported actually seeing rockets being moved into the mosque during Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian ceasefire:

“During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.”

According to international rules of military engagement,  civilian public and religious buildings cannot to be used to shield weapons, but that has been a long-held Hamas tactic in Gaza.

On Thursday, UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, said it discovered 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school it operated in Gaza.

UNRWA said the rockets were discovered during a “regular inspection” and that it immediately “informed the relevant parties and successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.”

The UNRWA came under criticism on social media for handing the rockets back to the “relevant parties,” who readers interpreted as being the Hamas militants who hid the arms in the school.


  • Lev-Tov ZOHAR

    Bomb the hospital flat. Kill every person in front of the rat-bastard terrorists. Kill them by the thousands. When the world finally sees the NEW price of Jewish blood, they’ll stop giving Arabs money.

  • Blow up the hospital and wipe out all the vermin

  • I heard that Kerry for planning to bribe Hamas with money to achieve a cease fire. How stupid can our government be to continue to reward terrorism. Are they blind or just anti-Israel??? Israel needs to stand strong and continue this operation otherwise they are committing suicide by bending to pressure. If the savages win it is the end of the civilized world.

  • For those who cry out at the high death toll amongst the citizens of Gaza, Absolutely, Cry Out! But cry and Shout at the guilty party. Hamas has caused this death and destruction. No other Army in the world goes to the lengths that Israel does to protect civillians. Hamas wants its people to die,this serves its purposes well. By their own admission. This is why they hide in schools and mosques and Hospitals.Israel provides aid, even now during a time of war, they are providing aide to the Palestinian people. The medical Equipment and medications being used in the hospitals is coming from none other but Israel. The world calls Israel Immoral? How Absurd!!And whilst the Palestinian People are living in Poverty, Millions of US Dollars in Aid that Hamas receives for the citizens of Gaza is redirected to build tunnels for terror activities. Hamas Leaders hide in schools and hospitals and tunnels, and they use civilians as human shields, threatening those who wish to flee and take heed of Israels request to seek safety. Those same people who Cry out. Please do Cry Out! and since you are so concerned for the poor Palestinians in Gaza, and this is your motivation for your shouting and crying, and not simple hatred and good old fashioned anti semitism wrapped in a celophane coating of anti zionism, please be sure to also cry out for the 160,000 men women and children killed in Syria in the past 3 years. Are these people less important to you because there isnt a Jew at hand to cast blame apon? I wont go down the path of Libya, Nigeria,or countless other places….Please Cry out!!!

    • Anita G Hitchcock

      Well said Julia! It is hamas that must accept the blame for these needless deaths. Also the Palestinian government and people who support hamas need to share that blame. Israel is NOT at fault here!

  • History of Al-Shifa hospital:

    Al-Shifa, which means “healing” in Arabic, was originally a British Army barracks, but was transformed into a center to provide treatment for quarantine and febrile diseases by the government of the British Mandate of Palestine. Prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, al-Shifa was the only hospital in Gaza. When the Egyptians administered the Gaza Strip after the war, the quarantine and febrile diseases department was relocated to another area in the city and al-Shifa developed into the central hospital of Gaza. Initially, a department for internal medicine was established, followed by a new wing for surgery, and subsequently new buildings for pediatrics and ophthalmology were added to the hospital.[3]

    After a brief occupation by Israel during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the returning Egyptian administration, under directives by president Gamal Abdel Nasser, paid more attention to the health and social situation of Gaza, and al-Shifa was expanded to include departments for obstetrics and gynecology. They established a new health administration for the Gaza region, later building several clinics throughout the city that were attended by doctors from the hospital.[4] The largest department in al-Shifa was internal medicine (100 beds), then pediatrics (70 beds), surgery (50 beds), ophthalmology (20 beds) and gynecology (10 beds).[5]
    Israeli occupation and Palestinian control[edit]

    When Israel reoccupied Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War, the entire Egyptian administration and staff in the hospital were taken prisoner.[6] By 1969, the internal medicines department grew to contain several sub-departments.[7] The hospital underwent a major Israeli renovation in the 1980s as part of a showcase project to improve the living conditions of Gaza residents.[8]

    According to Haaretz, as part of the renovation, Israel built Building 2 at Al-Shifa, which included a large basement for laundry and administrative services. This basement is where Israel alleges Hamas leadership is hiding, but given the existence of numerous tunnels, which appear to be far safer than a hospital that the IDF has repeatedly attacked, it seems rather unlikely.

    Of course, Wikipedia insists that Ahmed Jabari (second in command of Hamas military wing, since killed in an assassination by Israel in 2012) hid there in 2008. However its sources for the allegation merely state that the Shin Bet believed that (unnamed) Hamas leadership was hiding there, not that it was proven or admitted.

    • So what’s your point….what relevance does the history of the hospital have to Hamas’s war crimes and contempt for every and all rules of warfare?

  • they did this before and people refuse to acknowledge it. In Lebanon hezbouleh often launched missiles from near UNIFIL sitesand got away with it. We already know that unwra has many hamas people on their payroll. Time to close unwra

  • Isaac brajtman

    Surprised by UNRWA action !!! Is there a comment by the head of UNO ?

  • Remember all is fair in Jihad when infidals are the ememy. I understand that in the Koran it’s written that you can lie to infidals in order to conquor them.

  • if that is the case then
    Israel has 100% the right and duty to bomb that hospital.

  • Bernard Ross

    the hospital is an important military target that MUST be bombed. That is where murders of Jews is planned. They must no be allowed sanctuary. Their civilians are not more important than Jews who will die becuase they are allowed to live.

    • Another fake account making Jews seem like arrogant shitheads.

    • Sonia Willats

      I watched an interview with an Arab in Gaza (in Hebrew, on Channel 2) at the beginning of the Operation, before the ground invasion. The interviewer spoke about the justification for the rockets and missiles, and he said that Gaza was closed off, and thus justified resistance. The interviewer then asked him if he was being interviewed at the hospital, and if it was used as a military base, and the man shrugged and acknowledged it. I can check the name of the interviewer… but there is not much to debate here.

      And Israel IS, contrary to world opinion, simply trying to defend her citizens against a crazy world.

      THE WORLD OWES ISRAEL A HUGE APOLOGY FOR SPONSORING TERROR BY CHANNELING HUGE FUNDS TO GAZA, WHICH THEY KNOW QUITE WELL GOES TO TERRORISM AND NOT TO THE PEOPLE. United Nations is guilty of providing a shield to terrorists and chanelling monies, and allowing weapons to be stored with civilians protecting and fronting them. After that, how can the United Nations and Ban have any credibility at all?

    • Unfortunately, the hospital, and any other facility, if used for the purposes of war, under the rules of war becomes a legitimate target. Naturally Hamas does not care because if it is attacked, the civilian deaths will be used as propaganda against Israel. Hamas leaders and operatives should be tried under the Nuremberg for war crimes ans if found guilty, should be punished appropriately.

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