The BBC, which went with the Israeli military into Al-Shifa Hospital, has said that Israel has not provided evidence to support its claim that Gaza’s largest hospital is being used as an “operational command center” by Hamas.
Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa on Wednesday Nov. 15 after laying siege to the hospital for days, trapping thousands of patients, healthcare workers and civilians inside without food, water and electricity.
Israel has used its repeated claim that Hamas runs an extensive tunnel network under the hospital and uses it as its headquarters to attack the hospital repeatedly.
Both Hamas and hospital staff have denied that it is using hospitals in this way.
Israel has yet to provide evidence of the tunnels.
After raiding the hospital for two days, destroying facilities inside and interrogating about 200 people, according to Al Jazeera, the Israeli military released a video, saying it had found weapons and combat gear belonging to Hamas inside the hospital.
It then invited the BBC and Fox News crews to enter Al-Shifa on Thursday Nov. 16 with its military to see what it had found at the site.
In its report, the BBC said that it was only allowed to film at locations of Israel’s choice, and its journalists were not allowed to speak to doctors or patients inside.
It said the military had shown BBC reporters some of the same locations as the ones featured in the video the military shared on social media but found that things did not match.
For example, the video, only one gun was seen next to a MRI machine, while there were two when the BBC showed up.
The Israeli military said that this was because more weaponry was found later in the day.
The BBC also analyzed the video released by Israeli military and found that it was filmed just a few hours before the BBC arrived.
The video was also clearly edited, despite the military’s claims that it was “unedited” footage.
The BBC also pointed out that it was not possible to verify how the military equipment shown in the Israeli video came to be there.
It concluded its report by saying that the few military equipment seen in the video “does not equate to Israel’s description of Al-Shifa as an ‘operational command center’ for Hamas”.
The BBC noted that the US, Israel’s closest ally, is now describing the hospital as “a command-and-control node”, which implies a much smaller facility.
“Israel is adamant this hospital was a command center, but for now at least, it’s either not found supporting evidence or it’s not sharing it,” the BBC presenter concluded.