Israeli Forces Arrest Al-Shifa Hospital Director in Gaza

Israeli Forces Arrest Al-Shifa Hospital Director in Gaza

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The director of al-Shifa Hospital, Abu Salmiya, was traveling with fellow medical professionals from northern Gaza to the south when Israeli forces detained him, as reported by a Health Ministry spokesperson in Gaza.

Khalid Abu Samra, a department chief at the hospital, stated to AFP that Dr. Abu Salmiya and several senior doctors were arrested during their journey.

Confirming the arrest, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority highlighted allegations that Gaza’s biggest hospital had been utilized as a command center by Hamas before its occupation, although no evidence was presented.

The hospital witnessed brutal scenes during recent events, with Israeli forces besieging the facility, prompting international outcry over the targeting of a medical complex.

Al-Shifa is seen as a nerve center for the Gaza government’s administrative bodies. Health Ministry officials have held news conferences surrounded by bodies, and the government’s Media Ministry has operated out of the hospital.

Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet also reportedly questioned Dr. Abu Salmiya after his arrest, as revealed by Israeli broadcaster Kan.

Hamas strongly condemned the arrests, denouncing them as an act devoid of humanity and a breach of international conventions safeguarding medical personnel from attacks.

“We consider it a despicable act that only comes from an entity that lacks all sense of humanity and morals, in addition to being a crime and a flagrant violation of international conventions that guarantee no attacks against medical personnel at all times,” Hamas said in a statement.

Israel claims the hospital – which its army raided on November 15, forcing patients, staff and displaced Palestinians to evacuate – was being used by Hamas, raising concerns about the evidence used to support Israeli invasion of Gaza, including the assault on al-Shifa Hospital.

Meanwhile, Munir al-Bursh, the director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry who is inside the Indonesian Hospital, says the Israeli army has warned people in the facility to evacuate it in four hours.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he said the bombing continues around the hospital in northern Gaza from all sides.

The Indonesian charity Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C), which funded the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza when it was built in 2011, says the hospital has been completely evacuated and its volunteers moved to Rafah.

Al-Bursh highlighted the plight, citing 65 unburied bodies inside the besieged facility and around 200 patients remaining at the Indonesian Hospital after evacuations.

Earlier, the director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, who was inside the hospital, said the Israeli army warned people in the facility to evacuate it in four hours.

“The Indonesia Hospital is now empty, and our volunteers have been moved to a school near the European Hospital in Rafah,” Sarbini Abdul Murad, the head of MER-C, told Al Jazeera.

Spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra says Gaza’s Health Ministry has decided to stop coordination with the World Health Organization in evacuating wounded people and medical staff.

Gaza continues to grapple with the devastating aftermath of the Israeli onslaught, amplifying humanitarian concerns as the situation intensifies within medical facilities.

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