Eekad‘s conclusion challenges the narrative from Israel and suggests a need for further investigation and verification of such claims.
Eekad, the Arab region’s first open-source intelligence platform, has investigated Israel’s claims of the alleged uncovering of a Hamas tunnel beneath the Al-Shifa Hospital and released all their latest findings in a thread on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Gaza’s hospitals have been among the IOF’s main targets since the launch of the deadly war on October 7, where at least 13,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,710 children, have been killed.
On November 16, Israel released footage allegedly showing a Hamas tunnel entrance within the Shifa Medical Complex.
Eekad’s meticulous analysis of the video’s geographical features honed in on a small white building, a container-like structure on a rooftop, and a building with a circular facade. Their findings suggest that the location was outside the hospital’s public buildings, near Ibn Sina Street.
This conclusion by Eekad contradicts the Israeli claims.
“Our findings place the location opposite the building with the circular facade, suggesting that the site lies outside the hospital’s public buildings,” Eekad said.
Further inconsistencies were noted when Eekad examined the graphic map released by Israel on October 27, which claimed to show Hamas headquarters beneath Al-Shifa Hospital.
The location of the alleged tunnel did not align with areas previously identified as alleged Hamas command centres.
Eekad’s investigation also raised questions about the nature of the tunnel itself.
Their analysis revealed that the tunnel bears a striking resemblance to electrical or ground communication conduits.
“The tunnel’s unique shape prompted us to delve deeper, revealing it more closely resembles a cable pole or sewage gutter,” Eekad reported. They also highlighted elements like electricity wires uncovered by Israeli army bulldozing.
The size of the tunnel entrance also raised doubts about its practicality for the rapid movement of armed operatives.
“The small diameter of the tunnel entrance is impractical for swift entry and exit,” Eekad mentioned, suggesting its improbability as a military tunnel.
Comparing the footage with images of ground-level electricity channels, Eekad found striking similarities, further undermining the credibility of Israel’s claim.
“Comparing the footage with ground-level electricity channel images revealed striking similarities,” Eekad added.
Eekad concluded that the alleged tunnel, located outside the areas previously marked as Hamas command centres by Israel, is more likely related to electricity or ground communications channels, not a military tunnel.
Israel has justified its targeting of hospitals over allegations of the presence of Hamas tunnels inside the buildings that have been used as command centres. Those allegations have been debunked by numerous investigations, including one by Human Rights Watch.
Other international and regional organisations have responded to Israel’s claims about the existence of a Hamas tunnel under the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
Sanad, Al Jazeera’s investigative unit, conducted an investigation and disproved the Israeli claims about a Hamas tunnel under the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Hospital for Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Hospital, commonly known as the Qatari Hospital. Their investigation showed that what was claimed to be a tunnel hatch was actually an access hatch for a water reservoir used by the hospital.
Hamas political official Ezzat El-Reshiq denied the Israeli allegations, stating that the claims had “no basis in truth”. He warned that the claim was an attempt to justify targeting a hospital that contains thousands of wounded and shelters more than 40,000 displaced people.
At least 26 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are either damaged or out of service, Palestine’s news agency (Wafa) reported on Sunday. The IOF has also killed 205 health personnel and 36 civil defence members since the start of the war, Wafa added.