Al-Shifa Hospital
Al-Shifa HospitalReuters

A senior US intelligence official on Tuesday confirmed that Hamas terrorists evacuated Al-Shifa Hospital days before the Israeli ground incursion, taking hostages with them, The New York Times reported.

According to the report, US spy agencies believe that Hamas and another terror group used Al-Shifa as a command base and to hold some of the hostages. The intelligence, declassified Tuesday, showed that US intelligence agencies obtained information that Hamas terrorists evacuated the hospital complex just days before Israel raided the hospital.

It also showed that Israel was correct in its belief that hostages were held at or under Al-Shifa, but that the hostages were apparently moved as the terror groups evacuated the site.

As the terror groups evacuated, they also destroyed documents and electronics as they left, the intelligence official told the Times.

The intelligence also names the second terror group using the hospital as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, commonly known as PIJ or simply Islamic Jihad.

A US official said that the assessment was based on both independently-gathered American intelligence as well as Israeli intelligence.