A doctor who used to work at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza has told France24 that it was used for “non-medical purposes”, strongly implying that Hamas terrorists were present at the hospital.
The British doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he could not emphasise “too much the air of collective paranoia that existed there”.
“When I was first asked to work there [at Shifa], I was told there was a part of the hospital I was not to go near, and if I did, I’d be in danger of being shot,” he said.
The doctor also said that it was not explained to him why he could not go there but that it was implied that it was “being used for non-medical purposes”.
“I stayed away, but I saw a few dodgy-looking non-medical characters going in and out all the time. It was a ward leading to a basement. As I said, I didn’t go there; so I behaved myself,” he added.
The doctor said he was “welcome everywhere else” and that the doctors and nurses there were “very welcoming and very kind, and the hushed tones under which this was said were consistent with all the other hushed tones with which Hamas was discussed. You know, people were genuinely fearful.”
Journalists who have reported from al-Shifa throughout the years have also backed Israel’s claim that Hamas operates in the hospital. In 2008, a New York Times journalist watched armed Hamas members inside the hospital wearing civilian clothes. The journalist also witnessed Hamas execute a Palestinian man accused of collaborating with Israel.
In 2015, Amnesty International issued a damning report, stating that Hamas had interrogated and tortured Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.
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