The Gaza Health Ministry has suspended its coordination with the WHO due to the arrest of the director of the Al Shifa hospital
The Ministry of Health in Gaza issued a statement saying it has suspended coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) following the arrest of the director of Al Shifa Hospital and other workers by Israeli soldiers while conducting the evacuation of the medical center. Therefore, the departure of doctors and patients from this hospital, the largest in Gaza, is suspended.
The hospital is in the hands of Israeli soldiers after several days of fighting in the area and a final attack on its facilities, which Israel claims are used by Hamas as a command center, which is denied by the Palestinian authorities. Israel then ordered the evacuation of the remaining patients, including dozens of premature babies and staff. A doctor at the center informed the Al Jazeera network on Thursday that the director of the center, Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya, was arrested on Wednesday.
Following the arrest, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health suspended cooperation with the WHO, halting the evacuation of patients and medical and nursing staff from the center.
In its statement, the ministry criticized that the medical teams were arrested despite the fact that their departure was approved by Israel and was carried out under the supervision of the UN, which “deceived” the staff, where it claimed that the United Nations “made the object action.” In the note, they stated that a UN convoy sent to evacuate patients and staff was intercepted by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint that separates northern and southern Gaza and attacked some health workers. “The matter ended with the arrest of some of them, including the director of Al Shifa Hospital.” They confirmed that the UN “has full responsibility” for the event and criticized that “the WHO did not provide any report to the Ministry (of Health in Gaza) to explain what happened, including the number and names of prisoners.”
Israeli military sources quoted by the Israeli public broadcaster, Kan, confirmed the arrest of the hospital director and emphasized that he would be interrogated on the spot and later handed over to the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence service. (Agencies)