US media have raised the possibility that the Israeli occupation army “rearranged” weapons it claimed to have discovered at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City before the international news agencies were allowed to visit the medical facility controlled by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
The US broadcaster CNN said in a report published on Saturday that Israel “may have placed” weapons at al-Shifa Hospital where they allowed reporters to record what they claimed to have found following groundless allegations that Hamas had stashed arms at Gaza’s largest hospital and used the site to launch attacks on the occupied territories.
“An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) video on November 15 showing a tour of Hamas weaponry found at al-Shifa hospital shows less weaponry at the scene than in later footage filmed by international news crews, indicating the weaponry may have been moved or placed there prior to news crews arriving,” the report said.
Providing further details, CNN said that according to the video published by Israeli army spokesperson Jonathan Concricus, an AK-47 gun was seen behind an MRI machine in one of the buildings in the al-Shifa Hospital but when Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst visited the site, he filmed two AK-47 guns behind the MRI machine, not one as appeared in an earlier video by the Israeli army.
“It is unclear where the second AK-47 gun came from and why it is not visible in the earlier IDF clip,” CNN said.
“It is possible the weaponry was removed from the scene and replaced prior to the news crews arriving,” the US broadcaster added. “However this does not explain why more guns are visible when the press arrive than in the original IDF video.”
Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, said in an interview with Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network that what Israel had shown in videos from under al-Shifa Hospital so far “could easily have been planted by the army itself.”
“All they’ve shown is a Kalashnikov and a laptop that they could have put there easily and claim that it was found there,” the veteran Palestinian legislator said.
Ezzat al-Resheq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, also dismissed the Israeli military’s claims and said, “The occupation forces are still lying … as they brought some weapons, clothes and tools and placed them in the hospital in a scandalous manner.”
Tel Aviv has long accused Hamas of using patients at the al-Shifa Hospital as “human shield” and converting the site to a launchpad for directing military operations against the occupying regime — an allegation vehemently denied by the Palestinian resistance group.
Under such pretexts, the Israeli regime has initiated a relentless bombardment campaign against al-Shifa Hospital and other medical facilities in the besieged area since last month’s Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, the largest military operation by Palestinian resistance groups against Israel in decades.
Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Strip-based Palestinian resistance groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.