The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed to have found tunnels used by Hamas leading to a room under Rantisi Hospital in Gaza, in a recent video published on social media. Claims made in the video have since been heavily scrutinized as sensational by social media users and experts.
The video, published on the IDF’s official Twitter page on 13 November, shows IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari claiming that the room was used to hold hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October. In the video, Hagari pointed out a 20 meter-deep hole in the ground with what he claimed was a bullet-proof, explosive-proof door at the end. Hagari did not go down the hole.
The video then cut to the hospital basement and the IDF spokesperson gave a tour of what the IDF claimed to be “Hamas’ subterranean terrorist tunnels.”
Hagari pointed out a curtain covering a solid wall, a bathroom, women’s clothes on a chair, a baby bottle on top of a World Health Organization sticker, guns and grenades organized on a table, and a motorcycle with a hole in the leather, among other things, as evidence of Hamas’ operation.
He claimed that a paper on the wall had the names of Hamas members guarding the hostages.
“There is a list. In Arabic, this list says ‘we are in operation, the operation against Israel, started on the 7th of October.’ This is a guardians list where every terrorist writes his name […] guarding the people that were here,” Hagari said.
The paper was actually a calendar with the days of the week written in Arabic. It is these days of the week that Hagari in the video implied were names of Hamas members. The calendar marked the days since what it says was the “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” on 7 October.
The IDF later wrote a tweet correcting Hagari’s claim regarding the calendar early on 14 November. However, it has not removed the original video.
Beneath the Rantisi Hospital in Gaza, IDF forces found a room where Israeli hostages are believed to have been held.
The calendar found in the room marked the days since October 7 Massacre with the title “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”, Hamas’ name for their horrific attack on Israel. pic.twitter.com/sK4FPaOlHJ
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 14, 2023
“I condemn Mondays!” one user wrote in response.
Israel claims that Hamas has tunnels beneath hospitals in Gaza, such as the besieged Al-Shifa Hospital, where three premature babies have died due to the hospital running out of fuel, and 36 remain at risk.
The Conflict So Far
After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.
Over 11,360 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including at least 4,609 children — and over 27,490 others injured. Meanwhile, at least 183 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and at least 2,700 have been injured.
The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been deescalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.
Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.