On Saturday, February 17th, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced a significant operation at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, resulting in the arrest of over 100 individuals suspected of terrorism. The operation saw participation from Israel’s elite Maglan and Egoz units, which also killed several operatives from Hamas in the vicinity of the hospital. The IDF’s action followed a week-long encirclement of the facility, prompted by intelligence suggesting that hostages had been held inside. Indeed, at least one released hostage corroborated this, revealing that she, along with more than two dozen others, were detained inside the hospital grounds.

IDF warfighters entered Nassar Hospital on Thursday after receiving intelligence reports that hostages were being held there and that the dead bodies of hostages may be found on the premises as well.

They Found an Arsenal

The IDF’s search uncovered an arsenal hidden within the supposedly safe confines of the healthcare facility, including mortars and grenades, affirming its use as a Hamas stronghold. Furthermore, medications bearing the names of hostages were found, adding a personal dimension to the evidence of Hamas’s activities in the hospital. Amidst these developments, the IDF refuted accusations of targeting the hospital’s generators, a claim that emerged following a Hamas statement blaming the IDF for patient deaths due to power outages. The military clarified that its forces had instructions to maintain the hospital’s operational integrity. They swiftly responded to the generator malfunction by coordinating repairs and even having the Navy’s Shayetet 13 commando unit bring in a generator to replace the broken machine.

The IDF put out the following statements: