The IDF and Shin Bet intelligence agency released on Wednesday a recording of an intercepted phone call in which a Hamas terrorist admits to using ambulances to move around Gaza.
“I can leave with any ambulance I want,” the terrorist is heard saying to a Gaza resident he was talking to. The recording comes after Israel took responsibility for a strike on an ambulance in Gaza over the weekend it claimed was transporting Hamas terrorists.
In addition, a collection of quotes from Shin Bet interrogations of terrorists from Hamas’s elite Nukhba force who took part in the massacre in Israeli border towns on October 7 also reveals the use of ambulances and hospitals by Hamas terrorists for military activities in the Palestinian enclave.
“Al-Qassam [Brigades] have their own ambulances, some of which are located on the military base. The appearance of the ambulances is similar to the civilian ambulances so that they will not arouse suspicion or be bombed by Israel,” said one of the terrorists in his interrogation, mentioning Hamas’s military wing.
Another terrorist argued that “the Jews don’t hit ambulances” while a third terrorist said that “During combat, the ambulances are used, among other things, to evacuate fighters – commanders and operatives. They also transport food, cargo and weapons in them because that is the safest way to transport them.”
Another told in his interrogation that most senior Hamas political and military officials, including Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, are “hiding in the hospitals, especially the Shifa Hospital. They take advantage of the hospitals so that they will not be bombed.”
Others said that “Hamas stores weapons and ammunition under schools” and that “many places in the Gaza Strip are rigged, the cables leading to the operating system are in civilian mosques and clinics.”
The IDF and Shin Bet claimed that Hamas uses ambulances, hospitals, clinics, mosques and schools for terrorist purposes - and utilizes ambulances to transport combat equipment and terrorists around Gaza.
Last Friday, the Health Ministry in Gaza claimed that 15 people were killed and 26 others injured in an attack on an ambulance near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. A few hours after the attack, and following the gruesome images, Israel said in an official statement that the same ambulance was transporting Hamas operatives, and it was located adjacent to a Hamas command center beneath the hospital.
“An IDF aircraft struck an ambulance that was identified by forces as being used by a Hamas terrorist cell in close proximity to their position in the battle zone,” the IDF said in a response to CNN.
“A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike… We have information which demonstrates that Hamas’ method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances.”
A spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza claimed, on the other hand, that the ambulance was part of a convoy that left the hospital on its way to the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, and the Red Cross was informed of its departure.