The director of Gaza’s largest hospital has been arrested Israeli forces who say ‘extensive Hamas terrorist activity’ has taken place at the medical facility during his time in charge.
Mohammad Abu Salmiya had been held for questioning over evidence that Shifa hospital had been used as a command centre Hamas terrorists, the IDF said.
The Israeli army raided the hospital last week amid claims Hamas terrorists used a tunnel complex beneath the medical centre as a headquarters
The IDF said today: ‘The director of the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip was apprehended and transferred for ISA questioning following evidence showing that the Shifa Hospital, under his direct management, served as a Hamas command and control centre.
‘The Hamas terror tunnel network situated under the hospital also exploited electricity and resources taken from the hospital.
‘In addition, Hamas stored numerous weapons inside the hospital and on the hospital grounds.’
The IDF added: ‘Furthermore, after the Hamas massacre on October 7th, Hamas terrorists sought refuge within the hospital, some of them taking hostages from Israel with them.
‘A pathological report also confirmed the murder of CPL Noa Marciano on the hospital premises.
‘In the hospital, under his management, there was extensive Hamas terrorist activity. Findings of his involvement in terrorist activity will determine whether he will be subject to further ISA questioning.’
IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said: ‘Now, the irrefutable truth of Hamas’ exploitation of hospitals in Gaza is on full display to the world.
‘We have an important question to ask the international community: what will you do to stop Gaza’s hospitals from being turned into terror bases in the future?
‘Will you condemn Hamas? Or will you continue to be silent? Will you remain silent? I want to make it clear that Israel is at war with Hamas. We are not at war with the people of Gaza.’
Earlier, Khalid Abu Samra, chief of the department at the hospital, had confirmed Salmiya’s arrest, claiming that he had been arrested with ‘several other senior soldiers’. The IDF’s statement only referenced the arrest of Salmiya.
‘Doctor Mohammad Abu Salmiya was arrested along with several other senior doctors,’ said Samra.
In a statement, Hamas said it ‘strongly denounces’ the arrest of Salmiya and his colleagues, calling on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organisations to work towards their ‘immediate release’.