Creating new perspectives since 2009

Released head of Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital says tried 3 times by Israel, with no charges

July 1, 2024 at 1:51 pm

The director of Al-Shifa Medical Complex, Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya, speaks to the press at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis after being released by the Israeli army following more than seven months of detention following a military operation at the hospital last November, on July 01, 2024. [Jehad Alshrafi – Anadolu Agency]

The Director of Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya, revealed on Monday that, despite being tried three times during his over seven months of detention, Israel never charged him with any crime, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a press conference held at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, just hours after his release, Abu Salmiya said: “Prisoners in Israeli jails endure different types of torture. The army treats them as if they were inanimate objects, and Israeli doctors physically assaulted us.”

“The Israel Prison Service never presented a clear charge against me, despite three court trials,” he added.

He explained that, along with other prisoners, he faced “severe torture and almost daily assaults inside the prisons and were denied medical treatments”.

Expressing his surprise at Israeli government officials’ claims of ignorance about his release, Abu Salmiya emphasized that his release was conducted through official channels.

READ: Israel releases 50 Palestinians detained in Gaza

“No international organisation visited us in Israeli prisons, and we were prohibited from meeting any lawyers. Many detainees are still left behind in very poor health and psychological conditions,” Abu Salmiya continued.

Abu Salmiya was arrested on 23 November,  along with several medical staff while travelling through Salah Al-Din Street from Gaza City to southern areas of the Strip after the Israeli military attacked Al-Shifa Hospital.

On Monday morning, Israel released about 54 Palestinians, including doctors who were detained from Al-Shifa Medical Complex and other hospitals in Gaza during separate military operations over the past months.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since a 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas.

Nearly 37,900 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and around 87,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

UN official: ICC should seek arrest of Israel’s Smotrich ‘a key mastermind of Israel’s genocidal policies’