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Yesterday, Israeli forces arrested Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director of the Al-Shifa Hospital, as he was trying to make his way south along with other members of the hospital staff. The IDF and the Shin Bet said, in a joint statement, that he was being questioned after “a great deal of evidence” (allegedly) revealed that the hospital was being used as a command center for Hamas, under his directorship.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health, in a statement issued afterwards, blamed the World Health Organization, under whose auspices the convoy that Abu Salmiya, other medical staff and patients from Al-Shifa, was organized. “We were informed by the United Nations of coordination through the World Health Organization for evacuating those present in Al-Shifa Medical Complex,” the statement said. “Based on this, a United Nations convoy, represented by the World Health Organization, moved yesterday to evacuate some of the patients and medical staff who were subjected to the worst Nazi practices and starvation within the hospital walls.” The convoy, apparently without any forewarning, was stopped at an Israeli checkpoint for seven hours, at the end of which, Israel made the arrests of Abu Salmiya and others.

“We affirm that the presence of the United Nations and its staff and leaving under its flag misled our medical teams and made them trust the coordination for evacuating the wounded and medical staff,” the Palestinian Health Ministry said. “The occupation bears full responsibility for the lives and safety of the detained colleagues. The United Nations bears full responsibility for this event, and we await appropriate and urgent actions from them to address this.”

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