DDozens of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers escorted journalists through a narrow stone tunnel — which the military said stretches 150 meters — to a series of underground bunkers beneath the hospital al-Shifa, in the city of Gaza.
According to a journalist from the Associated Press news agency, the accommodation located at the end of the tunnel had air conditioning, a kitchen, a bathroom and two metal beds and was covered in yellowish white tiles and appeared to have not been used for a long time.
Since declaring war on Hamas on October 7, Israel has repeatedly accused the group of using Gaza’s hospitals as cover for military use.
The Israeli army launched an attack on al-Shifa last week, alleging that the hospital housed a base for the Palestinian Islamist movement, including command centers and bunkers.
Israel has not yet revealed this alleged center, but the military has described the underground hideout as its most significant discovery so far.
Hamas and the hospital administration denied the Israeli army’s allegations.
“Al-Shifa hospital is the largest hospital in Gaza and also Hamas’ largest terrorist facility,” the IDF spokesman said.
“Hamas battalion commanders conducted command and control, firing rockets from here,” added Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.
On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers showed foreign journalists the weaponry they say they found at the hospital, including dozens of AK-47 assault machine guns, 20 grenades and several drones.
Hagari said it was just a small part of the weaponry found at al-Shifa.
Hundreds of patients and doctors remain trapped in the hospital. Thousands of people who had sought shelter in the complex fled south from the Gaza Strip last week as Israeli tanks approached and fighting intensified.
The war between Israel and Hamas has so far resulted in more than 14,000 deaths in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians, and more than 33,000 injured, according to the most recent report from local authorities, and 1.7 million displaced, according to the UN.
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