The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrested Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in connection with an ongoing terror investigation, as he attempted to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip along a humanitarian corridor.
In recent days, the IDF uncovered the terror tunnels beneath the hospital, which had tapped into the hospital’s own electricity and water supplies. The IDF also concluded that soldier Noa Marciano, who was taken captive by the Palestinian Hamas terror organization on October 7, had been murdered in the hospital.
The IDF also discovered surveillance footage of other hostages being moved through the hospital by armed Hamas terrorists on the day that they were abducted from Israel during the attack. And the IDF had uncovered weapons stored within the hospital
As a result, the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (the Shin Bet, or Shabak) arrested Salmiya and took him in for questioning.
In a joint statement, the IDF and ISA said Thursday:
The director of the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip was apprehended and transferred for ISA questioning following evidence showing that the Shifa Hospital, under his direct management, served as a Hamas command and control center. 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.
Furthermore, after the Hamas massacre on October 7th, 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 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.
The Times of Israel added:
Several other medical personnel from the hospital were also reportedly detained.
Army Radio reported that Abu Salmiya was detained as he was moving to evacuate to the south of the Strip via an IDF-opened humanitarian corridor.
Medhat Abbas, director of the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry also confirmed Abu Salmiya’s arrest.
The IDF has found numerous other Hamas terror facilities in Gaza hospitals. The abuse of hospitals for military purposes and terrorism, and as human shields for terror, is a violation of international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict.
As Israel continues its offensive, it continues to find other evidence of terror activity integrated with sensitive civilian sites — such as weapons caches underneath mosques, tunnel shafts near schools, and even rockets stored underneath children’s beds.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.