Al-Shifa Gaza City
This picture released on November 15 shows what the Israeli army says are soldiers carrying out operations inside Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa. Israeli Army/AFP

For the first time ever, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have published video footage of a tunnel network underneath Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital – widely known as Dar al-Shifa Hospital

The IDF entered Gaza's largest hospital five days ago. The militant group said that its entrance into the medical facility was part of its on-the-ground operation to "eliminate" Hamas commanders.

In a statement last night, Sunday 19 November, the IDF said that its troops were operating in a region close to the in-patient building at the al-Shifa Hospital on Friday and Saturday, where they found a pickup truck inside a garage located inside the medical facility.

The IDF destroyed the vehicle with a controlled explosion which exposed a tunnel that ran underneath the garage and hospital complex.

Israel has loudly criticised and accused Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organisation that has governed Gaza since 2007, of using the al-Shifa Hospital as a command centre and headquarters.

The Israeli military claimed that the tunnels belonged to Hamas militants, who have been known to operate in a notorious underground network for years.

The allegations have been denied by both hospital staff and Hamas.

Patients of the al-Shifa Hospital, which is in the north of the besieged enclave, are unable to receive life-saving medical care due to power cuts.

Medical equipment has been futile in the facility for weeks after Israel ordered a blockade that left Palestinian civilians with little amounts of food, water and fuel in the Gaza Strip.

The lack of fuel and recent heavy rainfall has contributed to the power outages and has left the hospital desperately calling for assistance.

A large number of premature babies, 31, were recently evacuated through the Rafah crossing and taken to an Emirati hospital in Egypt.

The babies were moved from the al-Shifa Hospital after incubators were put out of use and the medical staff resorted to wrapping the babies in foil to keep in warm.

babies Gaza
Thirty-one premature babies were evacuated to Egypt from Gaza's biggest hospital. Mohammed ABED/AFP

According to the UN, at least 40 people – including eight premature babies - have died because of a lack of electricity to operate life-saving equipment inside Gaza's hospitals.

On Saturday 18 November, the IDF published a video taken by a drone that was navigated down a circular staircase for 10 metres. After reaching a walkway below the surface, the camera displays a tunnel that stretches for 55 meters under Gaza.

Captioning the tunnel footage on X, formerly Twitter, the IDF wrote: "For weeks we've been telling the world about Hamas' cynical use of the residents of Gaza and patients of Shifa Hospital as human shields. Here is more proof."

The video also documents the huge number of weapons that Hamas is allegedly storing in tunnels under the al-Shifa Hospital.

The tunnel contains electricity wires and slopes deeper into the ground until it ends with a "blast-proof door". The door at the end of the tunnel has a gap in it, which according to the IDF, is used to fire weapons.

The Israeli troops are yet to go beyond the "blast-proof" door.

In what the IDF claims to be CCTV footage of the al-Shifa Hospital on October 7, Israel's military says that the video shows Israeli hostages being taken into the medical facility.

Last week, Hamas released a video of Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old reservist in the IDF. Marciano was among the civilians who were kidnapped by Hamas last month.

At the start of the video, the young girl identifies herself to the camera while in captivity. At the end of the video, images of her dead body are displayed.

Last week, Israel said that it would be expanding its on-the-ground operation to find more than 240 Israeli hostages and to destroy Hamas in the southern region of Gaza City.

The UN responded to the expansion by announcing its plans to immediately evacuate the remaining 300 or so patients from the al-Shifa Hospital to the south of the Strip.