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IDF arrests director of Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital

IDF arrests director of Gazas Al-Shifa Hospital

IANS Photo

Tel Aviv, Nov 23: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Thursday arrested Mohammed Abu Selemya, director of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, along with a few other staffers of the largest medical facility in the besieged enclave.

The hospital has been one of the major focus areas of the Israeli military ground offensive in Gaza, which launched on October 27.

The IDF has maintained that the Hamas militant group operates a command centre underneath Al-Shifa and also uses the medical complex as a base, with several tunnel entry points within the hospital.

The allegations, however, have been repeatedly denied by the militant group as well as the Palestinian Health Ministry and the hospital authorities.

In several statements, the IDF has claimed that the hostages captured by the Hamas on October 7 were kept in the tunnels underneath the hospital.

On Sunday night, the military confirmed that 19-year-old corporal Noa Marciano, whose body was found last week near the Al-Shifa Hospital, was murdered by the Hamas.

Marciano's body was found a day after the remains of 65-year-old abductee Yehudit Weiss were discovered on the premises of the Al-Shifa.

Thursday's development comes after a four-day humanitarian pause in fighting, which was agreed upon by the Hamas and Israel and has been delayed.

The pause was expected to start on Thursday. But an Israeli government source says they believe the deal will go ahead on Friday.

In the first phase of the pause, Hamas will release 50 hostages from Gaza, and Israel will free 150 Palestinian detainees.

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