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“Hamas Bases In Hospitals”: Exposing Israel’s Propaganda

Since the beginning of its war on Gaza, Israel’s propaganda has been outrageous, but it has since crossed a threshold into the genre of dark comedy. The most recent episode of Israel’s “evidence”-saga has focused on the claim that Hamas uses Palestinian hospitals as bases, a narrative the US government has faithfully backed up. 

On November 15, the Israeli army entered the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, besieging thousands of patients and refugees who were sheltering there. The justification for the raid, which included the storming of the compound with tanks and infantry, was that the Israeli army possessed intelligence information. That intelligence, they claimed, “proved” that the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, were using the largest medical facility in Gaza as a “command and control center.” Unsurprisingly, as was the case when Israeli forces raided the Rantisi Hospital a few days prior, the only “proof” that Hamas used the facilities were a few neatly lined up AK-47s.

In the past, when Israel attempted to lay blame on Palestinians for its own war crimes, the US government simply sat on the sidelines, perhaps attempting to give PR cover to their allies in Tel Aviv. But the US largely refrained from actively, directly taking part in their propaganda. Perhaps the only exception to this has been in the case of Iran and its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, which the Israeli government has been lying about since at least 1992.

The US government announced that it had received “intelligence” confirming that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have been using hospitals as military bases, specifically naming the Shifa Hospital. When pushed to divulge whether the intelligence reports were authored by Israel, Deputy Pentagon spokesperson, Sabrina Singh said the American government has no assets on the ground and refused to disclose the origins of their intelligence information. Israel published what it called proof of an immense tunnel network under the Shifa hospital, which came in the form of a CGI depiction of a tunnel network.

Israel entered the Shifa, guns blazing, turning the largest hospital in occupied Gaza into a “death zone,” according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) humanitarian team that later visited the site. Lo and behold, the Israeli military revealed they had found…some old rusty guns next to an MRI machine. Israel uploaded a video of their “evidence” and claimed it was unedited. Then they deleted it before editing it again and releasing a new version that blurred a laptop featured in the original video. That video has been largely mocked online. Even the BBC, which had their own reporter investigate the scene, doubted it. Even so, some apologists for Israel continue to cite the video to back up the Israeli military’s claims.

Now, let us assume that these guns, which magically multiply in different videos, were not planted next to an MRI machine by invading Israeli soldiers. Let us ignore that an MRI machine is essentially a massive magnet that would draw the guns toward it, making it an absurd place to store such weapons. Let us also assume that Hamas fighters used the laptop in question. Even if you believe the video from the Israeli military, this does not prove that a Hamas “command and control center” was there. All it would prove, if this evidence was not just planted, is that a small number of Palestinian fighters had, at some point, been present in the hospital. Without an Israeli soldier as an eyewitness, there is no way to say for certain that the Israeli army planted weapons. However, common sense can be employed.

Israel recently published photos from a school they raided in Gaza. The images show guns, grenades, and headbands of fighters, including a headband that reads “Lions Den” in Arabic, the name of an armed group that operates out of the West Bank—not in Gaza. The second headband in the image reads “Hamas,” which is not the kind of headband the fighters use. They use “Qassam Brigades” headbands.

In the Rantisi Children’s Hospital, the Israeli military also found a calendar. The non-Arabic-speaking Israeli soldier featured in the video showing “evidence” of a Hamas presence in the facility described the calendar as a shift calendar for “Khamas terrorists.” Unfortunately for the Israeli army, there are people on social media who read Arabic, and we immediately saw that the calendar simply named the days of the week. It listed zero names. The other “evidence” presented includes neatly lined up small arms on a child’s bed, and… wait for it… a baby bottle! There were also diapers. In a children’s hospital, these items most certainly prove that the facility was, in fact, a Hamas military base where hostages were kept. [Sarcasm]

But what about Israel’s proof of tunnels? Well, a video recorded a few hundred meters away from the Rantisi Hospital appears to show an elevator shaft and cannot be identified as a Hamas tunnel. Even if we assume it is a Hamas tunnel, the Israeli military claims it heads to the hospital but has not provided any evidence for this allegation. In the case of the video “evidence” released from the Shifa hospital, it is two separate videos spliced together in an unconvincing way. The first part of the clip features a drone shot of a winding staircase that heads underground, which is likely a buried part of Israel’s underground bunker system, which it built in the 1980s. The second part of the clip is filmed on a separate camera and appears to be captured by someone walking inside a tunnel. The second video in the clip does appear to show a tunnel that appears very much like the Hamas tunnels we have seen evidence of in the past. However, it isn’t connected to the first part of the clip.

Another clip the Israeli army released shows Hamas members accompanying Israeli hostages inside the Shifa Hospital. This has been twisted by the Israelis to somehow prove that Hamas was using the Shifa Hospital as a military base when the Palestinian group had already announced it took hostages there to be treated for wounds they sustained on October 7. However, the Israeli government slipped up again: In the first propaganda video, they claimed Hamas had destroyed or obstructed all of the cameras at the facility they had entered. Interestingly enough, health officials have denied Israeli claims about Hamas using the hospital for military purposes. If Hamas destroyed the cameras just before Israeli troops entered, then why would they have not tried to hide the CCTV evidence of them accompanying hostages to be treated at the facilities? The video also reveals something else: Hamas transported its Israeli prisoners to receive the best medical care available in Gaza—even as Palestinian prisoners have been tortured on camera since October 7.

There has not been a single shred of evidence to corroborate Israel’s claim— which the US backed up publicly, citing “intelligence”—that there was or is a Hamas command and control center or command node in the Shifa Hospital. Israeli forces have been there for nearly a week now, turning the hospital’s grounds into a military stronghold for their armed forces. This much has been proven. Even if we were to blindly conclude what the Israeli army wants us to believe about the tunnel videos, they do not prove their claims, either. The attack on the Shifa Hospital was a war crime, as was the attack on the Rantisi Hospital and all of the other hospitals in northern Gaza that have been rendered unusable as a result of Israeli attacks on them.

Let’s also remember some of the other claims Israel has made. There were the 40 beheaded babies, which was a lie. We were told that Hamas targeted a music festival in order to carry out a civilian massacre. This was also a lie, and it has now emerged that Hamas didn’t even know the festival was taking place, according to the Israeli police themselves. We also now know that the rave-goers fled the festival grounds and were killed elsewhere, some of them by Israeli fire. The claims about Israeli women being raped and burned alive lack any proof whatsoever. Israel also revised its October 7 death toll down to 1,200 after originally telling the world that 1,400 were killed. This is important because the 1,400 figure was presented as being all civilians across Western corporate media, which was a complete lie. Israel claimed a PIJ rocket struck the grounds of the Ahli Hospital in Gaza, a claim Western media entertained for weeks before this assertion was slowly torn apart from every single angle possible.

The lies that Israel is telling are getting sloppier by the day. They are entirely unconvincing and an insult to the intelligence of sensible human beings, who possess common sense comprehension skills beyond those of an eight-year-old child. At this point, even entertaining the falsehoods of the Borat-styled Israeli army presentations is a waste of time. They are designed to detract from the daily massacres visited upon Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We should really feel sorry for those who watch the Israeli army’s videos and are convinced that they are presenting tangible evidence. They need professional help.

Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, Middle-East analyst & news correspondent for The Last American Vagabond.

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