Director Muhammad Abu Salamiya and a number of other medical workers are arrested as Israel continues its attack on Gaza.
The Israeli occupation army arrested the director of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, according to what a doctor and media reported.
Khaled Abu Samra, head of a department at the hospital, told Agence France-Presse on Thursday that Muhammad Abu Salmiya was arrested along with a number of other “senior doctors.”
The arrest was also reported by the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, and was confirmed in a post on the social media platform X by Salmiya. cousinAdham Abu Salmiya.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said it wanted an explanation from the World Health Organization, as the medics were traveling in a WHO convoy with patients when they were stopped and detained by Israeli forces.
Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said, “The World Health Organization has not yet sent us any report to clarify the situation, including the numbers and names of detainees.” “The inability to contact the Shifa Foundation means that we do not know who has been arrested… There is a possibility that some of these detainees will be killed. We know that the occupation forces are capable of this.”
He said that the ministry decided to stop coordination with the World Health Organization regarding evacuations until it sent them a report explaining what happened.
Hamas said in a statement that it “strongly denounces” the arrest of Al-Salmiya and his colleagues, and called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations to work for their “immediate release.”
Tariq Abu Azoum, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in southern Gaza, said on Thursday that Israeli occupation forces arrested Palestinian medics days before the arrests.
He added: “This gives a clear indication that there is no immunity inside the Gaza Strip, not for medical workers, civil defense crews, or even journalists, as the attacks have reached all classes of Palestinian society.”
Al-Shifa Hospital was the main focus of the Israeli ground offensive in northern Gaza. The military ordered the facility evacuated on Saturday, but the few staff remaining there say there are about 180 patients still inside.
The Israeli army, which raided the hospital last week, claims that Hamas fighters used a tunnel complex beneath the facility in Gaza City to launch attacks. Hamas and hospital officials have repeatedly denied these accusations.
On the other hand, Mounir Al-Bursh, Director-General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said on Thursday that the Israeli army gave patients in the Indonesian hospital only hours to evacuate the facility located north of Gaza.
He said that there are about 200 patients still in the hospital after about 450 patients were evacuated yesterday, and he told Al Jazeera that the bombing is continuing from all sides in the vicinity.
Abu Azoum told Al Jazeera: “This hospital is considered the main central hospital that is still operating in the northern Gaza Strip, along with two other central hospitals,” adding that there are patients, medical workers and displaced people inside it.
“Both hospitals [al-Shifa and the Indonesian hospital] Our correspondent said: “We are witnessing a very dangerous and even critical situation, as Israeli forces are still encircling the area and even exercising significant control over it.”
The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs said on Wednesday that the Israeli military had “obstructed” a convoy of ambulances transporting 190 wounded and sick people from Shifa Hospital to the south, resulting in the journey taking about 20 hours.
The long delay at the Israeli military checkpoint separating the northern and southern Gaza Strip puts “the lives of the wounded and sick at risk,” according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
The medical service had previously said that 14 of its ambulances, two United Nations buses, and other vehicles participated in the evacuation of patients, in addition to “a number of medical teams” from Al-Shifa Hospital.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that three paramedics and a companion of one of the wounded were detained for more than three hours in the cold, while the patients were transferred to hospitals in the south.
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