US will not share intel on Hamas and Al Shifa hospital -White House

Scenes from Al Shifa hospital amid Israel's ground operation in Gaza City

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will not share any Israeli intelligence or elaborate on its own intelligence assessment that Hamas used Gaza's Al Shifa hospital as a command center and possibly as a storage facility, White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.

The United States is confident in an assessment from its own intelligence agencies on Hamas activities in the Gaza facility, Kirby said. He has refused to elaborate or provide details over the past several days.

The Biden administration has not declassified the sources of the U.S. intelligence "because some of those same channels are being used to monitor the status of hostages," a knowledgeable source said.

The intelligence "is definitive," said the source, and includes communications intercepts of Hamas fighters. The intercepts were first reported on Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal.

Israeli troops entered Al Shifa hospital on Wednesday after an aerial bombardment and ground operation targeting Hamas militants whom Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people in a cross-border attack from Gaza on Oct. 7.

About 11,500 people have been killed in Israel's retaliatory bombardments, according to health officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Asked whether Israelis have shared any new intelligence since the raid on the hospital began, Kirby said, "I'm not going to talk about specific intelligence that may pass between the two of us."

"That's really for them to speak to, but as I said the other day, we're confident in our own intelligence assessment about how Hamas was using that hospital," Kirby said in a briefing.

Hamas militants were sheltering themselves in the hospital and using the facility as a shield against military action, placing patients and medical staff at risk, he said.

"We have our own intelligence that convinces us that Hamas was using al Shifa as a command and control node, and most likely as well as a storage facility.

"We are still convinced of the soundness of that intelligence."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Nandita Bose and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Heather Timmons and Sandra Maler)