The IDF has released videos of weapons they claim were left in Gaza hospitals Rantisi and al-Shifa by Hamas members, to prove Hamas used these protected institutions for military purposes, rendering hospital patients human shields.

Some of the weapons are clearly arranged for the videos, while others are presented as being found where they lay (like behind an MRI machine). All are presented as having been discovered in the hospitals.

That al-Shifa is used by Hamas for military purposes is old news, and the US government is confident this is the case. My question however is about the specific claim of weapons found recently in the hospital:

Is there proof these weapons were actually found in the hospital and not planted by the IDF before the video?

  • 2
    Voting to close, as I am judging this to be a current event which will require independent expert verification.
    – Avery
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 21:03
  • 1
    @Avery almost all recent questions have fallen in that category, have you voted to close those too? Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 22:08
  • 1
    @user1271772: naah. But I suggest you read the pinned post skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4992/… If the IDF planted these guns it would very hard to prove given that (at al-Shifa at least) we're talking about 3-4 "grab bags". And they say the security cameras were off or disabled. This Q will probably never be answerable beyond "do you trust the IDF?" Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 22:18
  • 1
    @Fizz You asked the first 2023-Israel-Hamas-War question, and it was quite answerable. The next question was "Were babies found with their heads decapitated in Israel after the Hamas attack?" which was about a current event that isn't easy to prove right? Based on a glance at the "answers", it's not easy to figure out what the answer actually is. The top-voted answer (score = 26) says a confident "yes" (that the babies were murdered), but the second answer (score = 21) says the claim was "baseless" but "there is some newer, inconclusive, evidence to consider". Seems pretty unanswerable to me. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 0:25
  • @user1271772: yeah, that one I agree should probably have been closed for a while. Too many contradictory press reports etc. One of the answers (Dave's) was entirely rewritten 3 times, if you check its history. I for one got tired of trying to update my answer there (did like 2 updates--I didn't delete stuff). We probably don't need more Qs like that one. And frankly this Q has the potential to be like that, pending any new discoveries that someone might want to post as a "cannot sure about that video, but look what they found now!" Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


Outside of Israeli sources, expect stuff like the quote below for quite a while.

The Washington Post was unable to independently verify who the weapons belonged to or how they came to be inside the radiology unit.

NYT (about the other/Rantisi raid)

Both videos contained a series of assertions that could not be independently verified. The first includes well-displayed evidence — guns, explosives and other weaponry all arranged as if by police showing the haul from a drug raid — whose provenance similarly could not be confirmed.

At least regarding the Rantisi case, the IDF also posted a video apparently showing an RPG being fired by someone who is then said to run inside the hospital. However, as far as I can tell that video hasn't received anywhere near as much international attention as the raid ones. (Also, no RPGs were claimed to have been found at al-Shifa, just Kalashnikovs and hand grenades.)

About a week before the raid, Al-Jazeera has posted several images showing large holes, some surrounded by burn marks in the top floor and ceiling of the Rantisi hospital. Insofar, I've not been able to find out how the IDF says those happened. Gaza/hospital authorities say they were Israeli missile strikes.

FWIW, there has been a wee bit of contrversy surrounding the placement of some of those in later footage.

CNN compared footage published by the IDF online with footage taken by Fox News, which was granted access to the site in the hours afterwards. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus leads the tour in the IDF video and a watch on his arm shows the time to be 13:18.

Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst later visits the scene when it is dark. He says in his report it is “the middle of the night.”

Yingst is shown a bag located behind an MRI machine inside the hospital with two AK-47 guns visible on top of it. However, the IDF video filmed earlier shows only one AK-47 gun. It is unclear where the second AK-47 gun came from and why it is not visible in the earlier IDF clip.


The BBC was also granted access to the hospital the following day, November 16, and two AK-47 guns are still visible on top of the bag inside the MRI room.

The IDF told CNN the discrepancy between the military’s own video and the BBC footage was “due to the fact that more weaponry and terrorist assets were discovered throughout the day.”

“Suggestions that the IDF is manipulating the media are incorrect,” it added. “We are acting with full transparency whilst maintaining the safety of our troops and operational readiness.”

  • 2
    Since the Q was closed I've made this A community wiki. The idea being in case someone feels like adding something to this, feel free. It's probably better than just delete because it does contain quotes to the effect that by Western journalistic standards this can't really be currently answered. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 6:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .