by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When the Israel Defense Forces finally reached the notorious command-and-control node that Hamas located in and under the Shifa hospital complex, the Associated Press declared that Israel struggled to provide evidence of the “traces” Hamas might have left behind in a “hospital packed with patients.” Though Hamas itself has boasted of its operations in the hospital for years and has even hosted meetings with journalists in those facilities, it was incumbent on Israel to convince the deliberately obtuse Western press of the veracity of its claims about the use of this facility by the terrorist group.
Israel obliged, of course, but not to the media’s satisfaction. The IDF produced unedited footage of the hospital, which showcased a number of “go-bags” containing rifles, ammunition, live grenades, and sundry other tools of warfare. But Israel’s detractors deemed the haul insufficient to justify the raid on the hospital. When the IDF provided Western reporters with their own independent look at the hospital, Israel was accused of manipulating the evidence (the IDF video showed only one AK-47 stashed behind an MRI machine, but Fox’s Trey Yingst found two, CNN leadingly observed). When the IDF produced evidence of the sophisticated tunnel network beneath the hospital, it was too small, too far from the facility, or just another product of Israeli subterfuge.
Those who have overinvested in the notion that Israel is conducting its campaign against Hamas with negligent excess cannot be rationalized out of a conclusion to which rationality did not contribute. For everyone else, though, the accuracy of Israel’s claims about the Shifa hospital complex is approaching the point of irrefutability.
Over the weekend, Israel uncovered evidence supporting its claim that the hospital’s staff colluded with Hamas terrorists to hide the Israelis and foreign nationals in Israel who were kidnapped and taken to Gaza on October 7.