Shifa hospital
Shifa hospitalREUTERS

A senior Israeli military official on Wednesday revealed to the New York Times that IDF soldiers operating in Shifa Hospital, Gaza's central hospital, were interrogating people inside the hospital, one of whom may have been a Hamas member, and had found weapons.

The official said that soldiers had found weapons and evidence of a military headquarters but declined to provide further details and said that proof would not be provided until after the raid had ended.

According to the report, the soldiers briefly exchanged fire with gunmen outside the hospital before going in, but more than 12 hours after it began, the operation appeared more like a police raid than a pitched battle.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed on Tuesday night that “based on intelligence information and an operational necessity, IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital.” During the operation, the troops delivered humanitarian aid to the entrance of the hospital despite the battle taking place.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the US has independent intelligence showing that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations have been using the Shifa Hospital to conduct their military operations and, among other things, are storing weapons at the hospital.