What’s next if Israel doesn’t find Hamas headquarters in Al-Shifa?
GAZA: (Suno News) It has been several days since Israeli soldiers entered Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza City, and it seems that they are looking for the command and control centre of Hamas.
We have to remember that there is no system of independent investigation within the hospital. Journalists in Gaza cannot move freely, and those reporting from there are working under the full supervision of the Israeli army.
The world media does not believe in the evidence that Israel has presented so far, and the exaggerated statements made by Israelis about a secret Hamas hideout at the hospital, that a Hamas command and control centre was located there.
If there was a command and control centre there, and its existence has been suspected since 2014, the Israelis have yet to reveal a concrete evidence of its existence to the world.
What has so far been found after such Israeli searches are some Kalashnikovs, common in West Asia, the entrance to a tunnel, many of which are in Gaza, some military uniforms, and abandoned vehicles.
However, the Israeli military claims there is still the possibility of evidence of a large Hamas headquarters beneath the hospital.
The hospital was built by the Israelis during their complete control of Gaza in the 1970s and is a huge place that would take a long time to explore its every nook and cranny.
It is well known that the Israeli architects who designed Al-Shifa Hospital added several basements to it.
It is also possible that the Israelis have found something and for some reason, perhaps for military or security reasons, avoided revealing it.
Israel’s main goal is to prove that Hamas is using Gaza’s hospitals for its operations, a charge Hamas has consistently denied.
Israel’s main argument to justify killing people on such a large scale in Gaza has been that Hamas is using them as human shields. More than 12,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in an interview last Thursday that Hamas had established a military command centre in the hospital. He also said that Israeli hostages had been kept in there.
The Israeli Defense Forces have said that the body of 65-year-old hostage Yehudit Weiss was recovered from a house near Al-Shifa.
Negotiations are ongoing with the mediation of Qatar for the release of more than 200 hostages abducted by Hamas in Gaza.
But unless concrete evidence of Hamas headquarters in Al-Shifa or elsewhere is found, international pressure on Israel for a cease-fire is likely to mount.