Israel: Soldier executed, foreign hostages held at Gaza's Shifa hospital | Inquirer News

Israel: Soldier executed, foreign hostages held at Gaza’s Shifa hospital

/ 12:25 PM November 20, 2023

Israel says soldier executed, foreign hostages held at Gaza's Shifa hospital

A screen grab of a video released by the Israeli army on November 19, 2023, shows security camera footage of what they say were the Islamic militants of Hamas bringing in a hostage from Israel into the Shifa hospital on the day of the October 7 attack. Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

JERUSALEM — Israel stepped up accusations of Hamas abuses at the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital on Sunday, saying a captive soldier had been executed and two foreign hostages held at a site that has been a focus of its devastating six-week-old offensive.

At one point, a shelter for tens of thousands of Palestinian war refugees, Al Shifa Hospital has been evacuating patients and staff since Israeli troops swept in last week on what they called a mission to root out hidden Hamas facilities.


Israel is also searching for some 240 people Hamas kidnapped to Gaza after an Oct. 7 cross-border assault that sparked the war.


One of these was a 19-year-old Israeli army conscript, Noa Marciano, whose body was recovered near Shifa last week. Hamas said she died in an Israeli air strike and issued a video that appeared to show her corpse, unmarked except for a head wound.

READ: Israel searches for traces of Hamas in raid of key Gaza hospital

The Israeli military said a forensic examination found she had sustained non-life-threatening injuries from such a strike.

“According to intelligence information – solid intelligence information – Noa was taken by Hamas terrorists inside the walls of Shifa hospital. There, she was murdered by a Hamas terrorist,” chief spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.

He did not elaborate.

In his televised briefing, Hagari said Hamas gunmen had also brought a Nepalese and a Thai, among foreign workers seized in the Oct. 7 raid, to Shifa. He did not name the two hostages.


CCTV video aired by Hagari appeared to show a group of men frog-marching an individual into a hospital, to the surprise of medical staff. A second clip showed an injured man on a gurney. Another man nearby, in civilian clothes, had an assault rifle.

READ: Tentative Gaza deal reached to free some hostages, pause fighting – report

Hamas did not immediately comment on Hagari’s statements. The Palestinian Islamist group, which runs Gaza, has previously said it took some hostages to hospitals for treatment.

Separately on Sunday, the Israeli military published a video of what it described as a tunnel, running 55 meters in length and dug by Palestinians 10 meters under the Shifa compound.

Israel says soldier executed, foreign hostages held at Gaza's Shifa hospital

An opening to a tunnel that, according to Israel’s military, was used by Palestinian militants under Al Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip as seen in this screen grab taken from a handout video released by the Israel Defense Forces on November 19, 2023, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

While acknowledging that it has a network of hundreds of kilometers of secret tunnels, bunkers, and access shafts throughout the Palestinian enclave, Hamas has denied that these are located in civilian infrastructure like hospitals.

The video showed a narrow passage with arched concrete roofing, ending at what the military, in a statement, described as a blast-proof door.

READ: UN says starvation imminent in Gaza, no let-up in Israeli assault

The statement did not say what might be beyond the door. The tunnel had been accessed through a shaft discovered in a shed within the Shifa compound that contained munitions, it said. A second video showed an outdoor shaft opening in the compound.

Mounir El Barsh, the Gaza health ministry director, dismissed the Israeli statement on the tunnel as a “pure lie.”

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“They have been at the hospital for eight days … and yet they haven’t found anything,” he told Al Jazeera television.

TAGS: Gaza, Israel-Hamas war

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