IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari on operation at Shifa HospitalIDF Spokesperson's Unit

IDF troops launched a precise operation in the area of the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the operation is based on intelligence information indicating the use of the hospital by senior Hamas terrorists to conduct and promote terrorist activity.

“Prior to the operation, IDF troops were instructed on the importance of operating cautiously, as well as on the measures to be taken to avoid harm to the patients, civilians, medical staff, and medical equipment. In addition, Arabic speakers have been brought to the area in order to facilitate dialogue with the patients remaining in the hospital. There is no obligation for the patients and medical staff to evacuate,” the IDF said.

The statement clarified that IDF troops will continue the humanitarian efforts in the area, both throughout and following the conclusion of the operation, providing food, water, and medical supplies to the patients and civilians in the hospital's compound.

“The IDF will continue to act in accordance with international law and against the Hamas terrorist organization - which operates from hospitals and civilian infrastructure in a systematic and cynical way, without the distinction between the civilian population and the organization's terrorists,” said the statement.

The IDF previously operated in Shifa Hospital this past November. During that time, troops found evidence that Hamas operated military headquarters from the hospital.

A senior US intelligence official later confirmed to The New York Times that Hamas terrorists evacuated the hospital days before the Israeli ground incursion, taking hostages with them.

Head of CLA speaks to Director of the Gaza Ministry of HealthIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The IDF also noted that, over the past few days, the Head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for Gaza spoke with the Director of the Gaza Ministry of Health about the Hamas terrorist organization's activities within the Shifa Hospital, and the necessity to thwart them, in full coordination with the hospital's administration.

"We see that the Hamas terrorist organization is continuing its military activity inside hospitals. We are willing to provide any humanitarian aid needed. Our request is simple: an immediate end to all of the terrorist activity in the hospitals," the head of the CLA told the Director of the Ministry.

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.