Israeli army releases director of Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital after 7-month detention

Israeli army releases director of Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital after 7-month detention

Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya among 50 Palestinians freed across eastern Gaza border

By Anadolu staff

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - The Israeli army released the director of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City on Monday after more than seven months of detention following a military operation at the hospital last November.

Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya was among 50 Palestinians who were released across the eastern border of central and southern Gaza, according to Anadolu.

The released individuals were transported to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah and Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

Abu Salmiya was arrested on Nov. 23 along with several medical staff while traveling through Salah al-Din Street from Gaza City to southern areas of the strip after the Israeli military attacked Al-Shifa Hospital.

Speaking to Anadolu, he described the prisoners' conditions as "tragic, unprecedented in Palestinian history, with severe food shortages and physical humiliation."

He emphasized the urgent need for decisive action to release all prisoners from Israeli jails, noting that the hardships faced by the detainees are unparalleled since the Nakba.

"The Israeli occupation arrests everyone, and medical staff have died in Israeli prisons due to torture and a lack of medical care," he stressed.

"The enemy has demonstrated its cruelty in dealing with prisoners and medical personnel. Hundreds of medical staff have been targeted and are being tortured in occupation prisons," he added.

On Nov. 14, 2023, the Israeli army stormed the Al-Shifa Medical Complex for the first time after besieging it for several days. The military forced patients, injured individuals, and medical staff to evacuate to the southern areas of the enclave.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nearly 37,900 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and around 87,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

* Writing by Mohammad Sio.

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