Jan 23, 2022

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Israel has long claimed that Hamas uses hospitals, mosques and other civilian locations to mask its military headquarters and rocket launchers. Now, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) has released evidence in support of its claims.

In a press release, the ISA detailed specific examples of sites used to hide Hamas activity, provided by Hamas terrorists captured by Israel.  In an unusual move, the Hamas terrorists were identified by name in the release.

Mosques in Khan Yunis and other Gaza towns were used for recruitment, training and military planning.  Abdel Rahman Balousha from Khan Yunis said that the Alsafa and Alabra mosques in his hometown serve as meeting and assembly points for Hamas terrorists.

Muhammad Ala’a, also from Khan Yunis, and Muwaz Abu Tim, from nearby Bani Suheila, said that they were recruited for Hamas military activity at the Alabrar and Khaled Ben Alulid mosques in their respective towns, by Osama Altabesh.

Hamas urges civilians, including children, to stand on the roof of a target where the IDF has warned of an impending strike.

Hamas urges civilians, including children, to stand on the roof of a target where the IDF has warned of an impending strike.

Muhammad Ramadan from Khan Yunis said that his February 2014 training as an anti-tank fighter took place in a hall located beneath the Alshafi mosque there.  According to his testimony, the mosque is closed to non-military personnel.  He cited two other mosques, Alatzlakh and Albana, as meeting points used by the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigade for launching attacks.

Muhammad Alqadra said that mosques in Khan Yunis serve as sites to conceal war materiel such as RPGs, heavy PKC machine guns and AK-47s.  He added that local schools and hospitals are similarly used as arsenals.

Kindergartens, too, were used as cover for terrorist activity.   Afif Jerakh and Amad Jerakh from Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza claimed an attack tunnel had been dug close to a kindergarten.


Another terrorist, Muhammad Abu Daraz from Greater Ibsan, said he knew of a tunnel located near a kindergarten and a clinic in Hazara, and to which he was instructed to bring any Israeli he should successfully kidnap.  Others identified tunnels located in the vicinity of the Salah E-Din mosque.

Other Hamas terrorists identified hospitals being used as hideouts or strategic planning sites.  According to Samir Abu Luli from Rafiah, since the start of fighting, many armed policemen at Alnajar hospital in Rafiah have been blocking off certain sections of the hospital and not allowing anyone, including members of patients’ families, to enter.

IDF Soldiers Find Mosque with Weapons and Tunnel Openings

Similar blockades were noticed at Nasser and Shifa hospitals, in Khan Yunis and Gaza city respectively, as well as at the European hospital in Khan Yunis.  One witness, Nafez Salouf, claimed patients had simply been put out on the streets outside Alnajar.

All agreed that it was “well-known” Hamas leaders were gathering in those hospital wings.  Muaman Najar from Hazara even recounted how he brought his brother, who serves in the financial office of a local terrorist organization, food when he was hiding in Nasser hospital.

“It is clear,” reads the ISA statement, “that Hamas knowingly and intentionally operates in and adjacent to civilian areas, including in kindergartens, hospitals and mosques, in order to carry out military activity. Hamas thus endangers the civilian population even in times of calm given that munitions are liable to go off and put lives at risk. During fighting, Hamas deliberately operates in these locales, thus turning the civilian population into human shields on the assumption that Israel will be blamed for any injury and loss of life.”