Israeli forces arrested the director of Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced in a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.
Muhammad Abu Salmiya was arrested earlier Thursday along with several other hospital staff members while attempting to evacuate southward along the humanitarian corridor.
“The director of the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip was apprehended and transferred for ISA questioning following evidence showing that Shifa Hospital, under his direct management, served as a Hamas command and control center,” the statement read.
“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 statement continued, “Furthermore, after the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, 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 [Abu Salmiya’s] 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.”
Also on Thursday, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said that the IDF issued an alert to evacuate the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia within four hours.
In recent weeks, the IDF has provided evidence that Hamas uses Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza for its terrorist activities, which are conducted in a massive tunnel system underneath the complexes.
The IDF released extensive video evidence of Hamas’s tunnels under Shifa Hospital on Wednesday, saying its latest findings “unequivocally prove the modus operandi of the terrorist organization Hamas, which systematically operates from hospitals.
“The Hamas terrorist organization builds underground complexes under hospitals while exploiting the hospital infrastructure and conducts warfare from them,” the military said.
Israeli forces have operated in and around Shifa since Nov. 15, uncovering weapons and other terrorist infrastructure inside the medical center, and killing terrorists in the larger compound.
The military on Nov. 5 also presented evidence that the Indonesian Hospital, which was funded by NGOs from Indonesia and was inaugurated in 2016, was built on top of Hamas terrorist infrastructure. There were underground terrorist facilities there before the hospital was constructed, the IDF spokesman demonstrated.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari showed a rocket launch pad located close to the hospital.
“Hamas launches rockets on Israel 75 meters [82 yards] from a hospital,” he said.
Hagari also presented evidence that Hamas is using a Qatari-funded medical center in the Gaza Strip to pursue its terrorist warfare.
He showed visual proof of a terrorist tunnel entrance that Israeli soldiers exposed at Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Hospital, located along the coast north of Gaza City.