Real Admiral Daniel Hagari of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told reporters in a briefing Sunday that Israel trying to protect civilians in the war but that the Palestinian terror group Hamas was trying to stop civilians from evacuating, and operating from hospitals.
Hagari said that Israel had “prioritized evacuation efforts over other missions.” He said that the Israel Air Force dropped over 1.5 million flyers warning Palestinians to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip, which is where Hamas’s strongholds are located, and to move south, beyond the Wadi Gaza wetlands, for their own safety. He added that Israel had made 20,000 personal telephone calls to civilian residents of Gaza, telling them to evacuate the area.
Hagari showed videos of flyers being dropped, and played audio of warnings in Arabic that had been broadcast to residents.
“Hamas is weak without human shields,” Hagari said. That was why “Hamas is actively stopping civilians from moving to a safer area.
Special Media Briefing with RAdm. Daniel Hagari https://t.co/A97tei7XXg
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 5, 2023
He showed aerial photos of a Hamas roadblock that, he said, had been set up to stop Palestinian civilians from leaving the Jabaliya refugee camp.
In addition, Hagari said, Hamas continued to use hospitals for military purposes. He noted that Israel had previously exposed Hamas’s abuse of the Al Shifa hospital. He then went on to describe Hamas activities at other hospitals.
Hagari played video of IDF soldiers exposing a Hamas tunnel opening next to the Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Hospital, also known as the Qatari hospital, named after the country that funded it. He also said that Hamas terrorists had shot at the IDF from within the hospital, and played a video showing them doing so.
Next, Hagari showed images of another hospital, the Indonesia Hospital, showing the construction of Hamas tunnels underground, and aerial photos showing evidence of rocket launches 75m away.
He also revealed intercepted and recorded phone calls that showed Gaza residents appearing to state that there was no shortage of fuel in the area, and that Hamas was storing it underneath hospitals, while claiming that the hospitals were running out of fuel.
“Hamas moves fuel from the hospitals to terrorists … from Shifa Hospital to Jabaliya … because Jabaliya is a terror center.”
Hagari also played a clip from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), in which a Hamas spokesman admitted to Russia Today TV on October 27 that it had built tunnels to protect Hamas terrorists from attack, and had not built shelters for civilians.
“We will not accept Hamas’s cynical use of hospitals to hide their terror infrastructure. Hamas’s exploitation of hospitals must come to an end.”
A reporter asked why Israel was continuing to fight, knowing that Hamas was putting Palestinian civilians were at risk. Hagari replied by noting that this was a war “we did not start and we did not seek,” but which Israel had been forced to wage after October 7.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.