Israeli soldiers escorted journalists through a war-ravaged landscape to Gaza's largest hospital Wednesday, to show them a tunnel shaft they said was part of a vast underground network Hamas uses for military purposes.
For weeks, Al-Shifa hospital in the Northern Gaza Strip has been the focal point of the fight between Israel and the Palestinian militants.
Israeli officials say Hamas has been using the hospital to hide weapons and command centres -- a claim denied by medical staff and the Islamist movement.
AFP was among about two dozen journalists who embedded with Israeli soldiers to see what it calls evidence of the tunnel network underneath Al-Shifa.
Our still, video images and soundbites were submitted to the Israeli military censor for approval.
Electric wiring was visible as reporters climbed down a narrow shaft, which led to a narrow tunnel only a few metres wide.
"It's a very long tunnel," Colonel Elad Tsury, commander of Israel's Seventh Brigade, told reporters.
"The tunnel goes from the city to the hospital."
The soldier led reporters through what looked like a kitchenette with a sink, a toilet and a room with two metal beds and a wall-mounted air conditioner.
"When they are trying to survive, they go down, use hospitals as human shields and they can stay here for a long time."
The reporters were not taken inside the hospital and allowed to see only a portion of the sprawling complex.
Outside the hospital, the military displayed guns, ammunition and explosives they said were found in the Al-Shifa complex.
The media tour came after Israel and Hamas announced a deal allowing at least 50 hostages and scores of Palestinian prisoners to be freed while offering besieged Gaza residents a four-day truce after weeks of all-out war.
Tsury said the military had discovered near Al-Shifa the body of one of the hostages, 19-year-old soldier Noa Marciano.
As he spoke explosions and gunfire were heard in the background.
Israel says 240 people -- Israelis, dual nationals and foreigners -- were abducted by Hamas gunmen when they launched the deadliest attacks in Israel's 75-year history. At least 1,200 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to the government.
In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-run government in the Palestinian territory, the war has killed more than 14,100 people, thousands of them children.