Israel has released footage it claims shows hostages being taken into Gaza’s biggest hospital in the hours after Hamas launched its surprise attack on 7 October.
The CCTV, which could not be independently verified, was published by IDF on Sunday evening, amid hopes that a deal was close to free a significant number of hostages over the coming days.
IDF said the video showed two hostages, said to be Thai and Nepalese citizens, being escorted by Hamas fighters from a vehicle into Al-Shifa hospital. One of them appears to be on a stretcher and wounded.
The hospital was attacked by Israeli troops more than a week ago, and has since seen 31 “very sick” premature babies evacuated. Israel has inisisted that the hospital has been used as a hub by Hamas - a claim the group denies.
After releasing footage on Sunday night, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said: “These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organisation used the Shifa hospital complex on the day of the October 7 massacre as terrorist infrastructure.”
Separately on Sunday, the Israeli military published video of what it described as a tunnel, running 55 metres in length and dug by Palestinians 10 metres under the Shifa compound.
While acknowledging that it has a network of hundreds of kilometres of secret tunnels, bunkers and access shafts throughout the Palestinian enclave, Hamas has denied that these are located in civilian infrastructure like hospitals.
Mounir El Barsh, the Gaza health ministry director, dismissed the Israeli statement on the tunnel as a “pure lie”.
The release of the videos ccame as Israel said it was hopeful a significant number of hostages held in Gaza would be released by Hamas “in the coming days”, amid reports of talks that are also aimed at securing a days-long humanitarian pause in the conflict.
An estimated 240 captives were seized when Hamas launched the attack into Israel on 7 October.
Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, told ABC’s This Week: “They are very serious efforts, and I’m hopeful we can have a deal in the coming days.”