Israel claims hostage’s car links Hamas militant activities to Gaza hospital

The Israeli Army has claimed to have discovered a vehicle linked to an Israeli hostage mistakenly killed by troops inside a Gaza hospital.

The military said it found another vehicle in the facility suspected of being used by Hamas militants in the Oct. 7 attack on Israeli soil.

The claim follows oft-repeated Israeli allegations that fighters of the Islamist Hamas group were hiding in Gaza hospitals along with the hostages they took from Israeli territories.

A military press statement said on Monday that soldiers found a Toyota Corolla with an Israeli license plate inside the Indonesian hospital.

The vehicle belonged to the family of Samer El-Talalqa, who was one of the three hostages shot dead by the Israeli army in a mistaken identity.

Without elaborating any further, the statement said remnants of a rocket-propelled grenade and bloodstains were found in the vehicle, which were identified as belonging to “another hostage.”

“The finding of the vehicle directly links the hospital to the brutal events of Oct. 7,” the military statement said.

Israel had claimed that the Indonesian hospital, founded in 2015 in Jabalia, was used by Hamas militants to hide behind sick civilians and from where it operated its militant activities.

The Israeli military claimed that Hamas built the Indonesian Hospital to disguise its underground militant infrastructure, and the facility served as a base for senior commanders.

The hospital, situated in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, was built using Indonesian charity funds. It opened its doors in 2015.

Israeli bombings of hospitals and other critical civil infrastructure have sparked an international uproar, with the army justifying the attacks on Hamas military infrastructure hiding inside their facilities.

Hamas and Indonesian authorities have denied the Israeli claims.

The war between Hamas, which de facto rules the strip, and Israel erupted on Oct. 7, after Palestinian militants stormed through the Gaza border to launch multi-pronged attacks across southern Israel.

The militants killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and abducted around 240.

Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza, killing more than 20,000 people, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga