In footage released on Tuesday by the Shin Bet security agency, a northern Gaza Strip hospital director is seen confessing in his interrogation that Hamas has transformed the medical center into a military base.
"I was recruited by Hamas in 2010 with the rank of brigadier general. There are about 16 employees in the hospital who are Izz ad-Din al-Qassam military operatives - doctors, nurses, paramedics, clerks and crew members," said Ahmad Kahalot, the director of Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabaliya.
Kahalot, who was arrested last week in the Gaza Strip at the hospital by an IDF and Shin Bet force, described in his investigation how Hamas makes military use of the hospitals - hiding operatives, moving staff around and even brought a kidnapped soldier to the hospital.
"They hide in the hospitals because they believe that a hospital is a safe place, that they won't be harmed while they are inside a hospital," Kahalot said.
"Hamas has offices within the hospitals. There are designated areas for senior members, where they brought an abducted soldier. There is a specific place for interrogations, internal security and special security. Each of them has private phone lines within the hospital."
He further described how Hamas uses unlicensed private ambulances in a different color. "They used it to bring the kidnapped soldier and to transport bodies. It comes and goes without picking up injured," he admitted.
Kahalot recounted how he requested Hamas operatives to transfer an injured person to other hospitals for treatment, but they refused. "I pleaded with them to take the injured to the Indonesian hospital, to Al-Shifa, for treatment, but they refused. Their mission was more important."
In his Shin Bet interrogation, he did not spare criticism of the terror organization's leaders. "Hamas leaders are cowards. They left us on the ground while they’re deep in their hideouts. They have ruined us."
Last month, the IDF and Shin Bet released a recording of an intercepted phone call in which a Hamas operative admits to using ambulances to move around Gaza.
“I can leave with any ambulance I want,” the terrorist is heard saying to a fellow Gazan he was talking to. The recording comes after Israel took responsibility for a strike on an ambulance in Gaza 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, referring to 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.