US says Palestinian militants used Al Shifa hospital as hostage site

US Intelligence backs some of the claims of Israel regarding the situation in Al Shifa hospital.

According to a declassified report by the US intelligence services on Tuesday, which was revealed by a US official, Palestinian militant groups used the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza as a site for holding hostages and hosting command facilities.

The report gives the strongest endorsement from the White House to the Israeli allegations about the hospital complex, which was targeted by the Israeli forces in November in a raid that drew condemnation from international humanitarian groups and some members of US President Joe Biden’s party, and urged the US to suggest a shift in military operations in Gaza.

However, the report does not fully confirm some of the most serious charges by Israel, such as the hospital being a hub for the operations of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The report states that “The US Intelligence Community has confidence in its assessment on this issue and has independently verified the information on the use of the hospital complex by Hamas and PIJ for various activities related to their campaign against Israel.”

The report also says that it has evidence that the groups “used the al Shifa hospital complex and locations underneath it to host command facilities, conduct some command and control functions, store some weapons and detain at least a few hostages”.

The report adds that the US believes that Hamas members evacuated the site days before Israel attacked the complex on November 15 and disposed of sensitive documents and electronic devices before the soldiers entered the premises.

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