Foreign Doctors Relate Their Experiences With Hamas Terrorists at Shifa Hospital

By Hamodia Staff

Medical personnel at Shifa Hospital. (Shifa International Hospital Ltd.)

Sections of Shifa Hospital were off limits to doctors working there, and they expressed the belief that the area was being used for non-medical purposes by leaders of Hamas according to a report by Irris Makler, a correspondent for the English-language channel of French broadcaster France24.

In her report, she told of a conversation she had with this doctor who worked three years ago at Shifa for three months, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his colleagues still working in the region, in which he described the warning he was given to avoid that area, and the sense of fear and paranoia the medical teams had of the Hamas terrorists lurking in the hospital.

“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 was said in the interview.

“Was it explained to you why that was?” Makler asked the doctor.

“No, but implicit was that it was being used for non-medical purposes,” the doctor replied.

“And did you see anything non-medical, or did you buy the instruction and stay away?” Makler persisted.

“I stayed away, but I saw a few dodgy-looking non-medical characters going in and out all the time,” The doctor replied. “It was a ward leading to a basement. As I said I didn’t go there, so I behaved myself.”

“They would say there could be many other reasons that you would be told not to go to a particular area of a hospital. It’s not unusual,” Makler countered.

“Well, I was welcome everywhere else, and as I say, 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,” the doctor explained. “I cannot emphasize too much the air of collective paranoia that existed there.”

The doctor told Makler that if hospital staff were 10% frightened of possible Israeli airstrikes, they were 90% frightened of being persecuted by Hamas.

The Times of Israel reported that an Italian doctor recounted that in 2009, right after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas, he visited Gaza’s hospitals.

“Shifa is a very large compound. I got lost inside it, and at some point I ended up on an underground floor, and I found myself in front of two armed Hamas men in military attire, who told me to get out,” the Italian doctor said.

“I got the impression they were guarding a security door that gave access to their underground infrastructure. Several Palestinian sources I spoke with later on confirmed that Hamas’s command and control center was located under Shifa Hospital and that [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh had been hiding there throughout the duration of Operation Cast Lead.”

Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, head of the IDF Southern Command, said on Friday, “We see the presence of Hamas in all hospitals, it is a clear presence. They make cynical use of the hospitals, like here in the heart of Shifa.”

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