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Israel extends detention of Gaza's Shifa hospital chief for 45 days

Muhammad Abu Salmiya, director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, was arrested by Israeli occupation forces last week on 23 November 2023.

Israel has extended the detention of the director of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, who was detained by the Israeli military along with several other senior doctors last week, for an additional 45 days.

“The occupation army extended the detention of the director of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza for 45 days pending investigation,” The Government Media Office in Gaza said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mohammad Abu Salmiya was arrested last week along with five other medical staff from the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Ministry of Health while they were evacuating patients from the hospital as part of a United Nations mission.

Israeli military spokesperson Doron Spielman said on Saturday that Abu Salmiya was being questioned following the regime’s allegations that the hospital houses a “command center” belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in Gaza, has been a major focus of Israel’s offensive since the regime began it was on Gaza on October 7.

The WHO has already described as “desperate” the situation in al-Shifa, saying the medical complex has become a “death zone.”

The situation has forced “scores of sick and injured, some of them amputees” to flee the hospital towards the south without ambulances, along with displaced people, doctors and nurses.

Meanwhile, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier voiced fears for the safety of those remaining in al-Shifa Hospital, saying the UN agency is “extremely concerned” about the safety of the estimated 100 patients and health workers remaining at the facility.

Tel Aviv has long accused Hamas of using hospitals for housing Palestinian resistance fighters and their equipment and as an alleged launchpad for directing military operations against the occupying regime.

Under such pretexts, the regime has been targeting hospitals in the besieged enclave since the beginning of its war on Gaza last month.

Hamas has dismissed Israel’s allegations, saying it runs a vast network of underground tunnels and doesn’t need to use hospitals in any manner.

The Palestinian resistance group has called on the UN to form an investigative team in order to debunk Tel Aviv’s allegations.

WHO seeks quick restoration of health system in Gaza

The World Health Organization has called for quick efforts to restore the health system in Gaza, which has been devastated by weeks-long Israeli bombardment of the strip.

The organization warned that more people could die from diseases than bombings in Gaza if the system is not put back on its feet rapidly.

 The WHO described the collapse of al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza as a tragedy.

Israel has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Gaza throughout its brutal war in Gaza.

Meantime, the international charity Save the Children has called for a full ceasefire in Gaza, warning that the failure to agree on a ceasefire will cost thousands of more lives.

The charity said that without a complete ceasefire, Gaza’s children will be left to live through a nightmare once again.


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