JERUSALEM — Three weeks ago, the Israeli military unveiled a detailed 3D model of Gaza's Shifa Hospital – showing a series of underground installations that it said was part of an elaborate Hamas command and control center under the territory's largest health-care center.
Days after taking control of the hospital, the military has yet to unveil this purported center. But it has released videos of weapons allegedly seized inside the hospital, a tunnel running through the complex and videos appearing to show Hamas militants dragging hostages through the hospital's hallways. Israel says there will be much more to come.
What Israel finds – or fails to find – could play a large part in its efforts to rally international support for its war against Hamas, launched on Oct. 7 in response to a bloody cross-border attack by the Islamic militant group.
Here is a closer look at Israel's raid on the Shifa Hospital.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Gaza's hospitals have played a central role in the dueling narratives surrounding the war.
Hospitals enjoy special protected status under the international laws of war. But they can lose that status if they are used for military purposes.
Israel has long claimed that Hamas uses hospitals, schools, mosques and residential neighborhoods as human shields. In particular, it says Hamas has hidden command centers and bunkers underneath the sprawling grounds of Shifa. Hamas denies the…