What I Saw in Shifa Hospital
On special forces, armored convoys, and Hamas tunnels.
I spent Thursday in Shifa hospital. I was taking journalists to see the evidence of Hamas activity at the hospital firsthand, including a tunnel opening and weapons that were discovered.
We were escorted there by Shaldag commandos (more on them below) and the 7th armored brigade, who drove us to the site in armored personnel carriers.
Before I get into what we were able to show the reporters, I want to commend the 7th brigade for their professionalism and simple old-school military discipline, driving the convoy silently - with lights out - through a war zone in hostile territory.
That’s what an armored unit does, and they executed their mission to perfection.
Now to what we found -
Here’s Something You Don’t See at a Normal Hospital - Exploring a Hamas Tunnel
I want you to pay attention to a few things in this tunnel.
The complexity. This tunnel wasn’t built in a day, and it wasn’t built cheap. It’s got deep concrete foundations, lighting, electricity, and even a spiral staircase.
The depth. I can’t share the exact depth with you, but any tunnel you need a drone to explore, well, that’s pretty substantial.
The location. The tunnel is located in the Shifa hospital complex, near the Qatari section, and was hidden beneath a car, with weapons nearby.
Some of the weapons found at the scene
The Precision of ‘Shaldag’
Many of you have grown accustomed to hearing about the exploits of different special forces units in the IDF, like the Navy’s ‘Shayetet 13’.
Today, I want to introduce you to ‘Shaldag’ the Air Forces elite special forces team that was with me on the ground in Shifa.
The unit pin of Shaldag, which literally means ‘Kingfisher’ in English
Since it’s founding in 1974, Shaldag has participated in some of the IDFs most important missions, and were involved in the battles against Hamas terrorists on October 7th
Shaldag forces are working in a precise, targeted manner in the Shifa complex.
While Shaldag works to identify and neutralize Hamas infrastructure in Shifa, we can see the lights are still on the hospital building:
This is the level of precision our elite units operate at.
Find the threat, neutralize it, and let the hospital carry on. Incredible.
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Something I want to clear up before we go into today’s operational updates:
At no point, did the IDF order the evacuation of patients or medical teams from Shifa Hospital.
This morning, following the request of the director of the Hospital, the IDF agreed to expand and assist evacuation efforts. This is to enable Gazans who would like to evacuate the ability to do so.
Yesterday, IDF troops took over and destroyed a major weapon production post containing weapons belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip
Last night, in response to Hezbollah fire toward Israeli territory, IDF fighter jets and helicopters struck terror targets in Lebanon. The terror targets included terrorist infrastructure, sites, operational command centers, and military posts in which Hezbollah terrorists operated.
The IDF Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted a surface-to-air missile launched from Lebanon toward an IDF UAV.
A number of launches were identified from Lebanon toward Israeli territory.
IDF artillery struck the source of the launches.
In a joint IDF and ISA overnight counterterrorism activity in the Balata Camp in Nablus, an IDF aircraft struck a hideout used by terrorists involved in planning imminent terror attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets. The terrorists killed during the activity include Muhammad Zahed, who has been involved in shooting attacks against Israelis.
Additionally, forces dismantled an explosives production facility in the area with a number of ready-to-use explosive devices.
Quote of the Day
"We see the presence of Hamas in all the hospitals, it is a definite, clear presence. They are cynically using these hospitals as we can see here in the heart of Shifa"
- Commanding Officer of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman
What I’m Listening To:
The IDF released the newest episode of the Mission Brief podcast, our in depth look at different aspects of the war against Hamas. In this week’s episode we speak with Major (res) Ben Walhaus from the IDF’s International Law Department. Listen here and don’t forget to subscribe: