Israeli Forces Detain al-Shifa Hospital Director and Medical Personnel in Gaza, Including Director Muhammad Abu Salmiya
The director of al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, Muhammad Abu Salmiya, was detained by the Israeli army during its ongoing offensive in Gaza. Several other senior doctors were also arrested, as reported by Khalid Abu Samra, a department chief at the hospital, and confirmed by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. Salmiya’s cousin, Adham Abu Selmiya, posted the confirmation on the social media platform X.
In response to the arrests, Gaza’s ministry of health is seeking an explanation from the World Health Organization (WHO). Medics traveling in a WHO convoy with patients were stopped and detained by Israeli forces. Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the health ministry, expressed concern over the lack of information, stating, “The World Health Organization has not yet sent us any report to explain the situation, including the numbers and names of those detained. The inability to contact al-Shifa means we don’t know who has been arrested… There’s a chance some of those detainees will be killed. We know the occupation forces are capable of that.”
Due to the lack of information, the ministry has decided to suspend coordination with the WHO regarding evacuations until a detailed report is provided to clarify the circumstances surrounding the arrests.