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Israeli military confirms Al Shifa Hospital chief held for questioning

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli military confirmed on Thursday that the director of Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip had been held for questioning over evidence that the facility had been used as a command and control centre for the Islamist movement Hamas.

The military said Dr Muhammad Abu Salamiyah had been in charge of the sprawling complex as Hamas militants built up a network of military infrastructure and stored weapons inside the hospital and its grounds.

“In the hospital, under his management, there was extensive Hamas terrorist activity,” it said in a statement.

Israeli troops entered the complex earlier this month and have uncovered what they say is at least one well-equipped tunnel as well as a quantity of weapons which it said showed how the hospital was used by Hamas.

The military provided no details on the circumstances of his detention but the Palestinian health ministry said Abu Salamiyah and a number of doctors were arrested at dawn at a checkpoint on the road linking northern Gaza to the south.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kayla said the arrests showed that Israel was flouting international humanitarian law.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Howard Goller)

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