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Zionist entity detained, interrogated and uses doctors as ‘human shields’ in raids on Gaza hospitals : Report

Palestinian doctors in the Gaza Strip have said in a report that they were detained, interrogated and used as “human shields” during Israel’s violent raids on hospitals and medical facilities in the besieged territory.

Several doctors and surgeons were cited in a report by the UK-based news website Middle East Eye on Friday that the occupying regime’s forces used them as “hostages” when they invaded the al-Shifa Hospital during the weeks-long Israeli siege and bombardment of the largest medical complex in Gaza.

The doctors said the Israeli troops detained Mohammed Abu Silmiya, head of al-Shifa Hospital, along with more than 20 other medical personnel from Gaza.

Silmiya was reported to have been in custody and interrogated twice by Israeli officers inside the al-Shifa Hospital.

Marwan Abu Saada, head of the surgery department at al-Shifa Hospital, said, “For several days, Israeli aircraft kept bombing different buildings and departments of the hospital. Quadcopters were shooting directly at people, including patients and displaced persons. People were killed inside the hospita.”

“They besieged the hospital for five days before they stormed its departments. They kept us [in certain areas] and threatened us [with getting targeted]. When they stormed the ground stores, they used us [doctors] as human shields to enter and search them. They found the technical maintenance employees there and interrogated them, before they detained them.”

He added that the Israeli forces took several doctors with them while moving from one department to another and searching the different offices and rooms of al-Shifa Hospital.

“We felt that we were hostages, used to [protect] Israeli soldiers. They took me and Dr Abu Silmiya and interrogated us. They did not use violence with me or Dr. Abu Silmiya. But they interrogated Dr. Abu Silmiya twice,” Abu Saada continued.

The doctor said Israeli forces questioned him and Abu Silmiya about the presence of any members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas or hostages in the hospital’s offices or if there was any activity being conducted by Hamas in al-Shifa.

“We said no because we have never seen any Hamas members there. They besieged us in the hospital for five days, and on the eve of the truce, I returned home, and patients and some medical staff members were evacuated to the south,” Abu Saada said.

Fadel Naim, a doctor who had witnessed the Israeli attacks, was cited by the Middle East Eye as saying that Israeli forces interrogated the doctors to gain information about the Palestinian resistance groups.

“Many doctors and healthcare professionals have been interrogated and detained,” Naim said.

“Every Palestinian is subject to detention, but they detain doctors in particular thinking that they would get information that might prove their allegations about the resistance. They interrogate them to get information and details about other people.”

Naim added that since the beginning of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, he had witnessed or heard of many doctors getting killed or wounded.

“Many of our colleagues were directly killed. Every day, we hear the name of another doctor who was killed. Many of the doctors who were once our students were also killed or detained,” he said.