The director along with a few staff members of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the largest medical facility in the besieged enclave, were arrested by the Israeli forces on Thursday. The hospital has been a major target of the Israeli military ground offensive that began on October 27.
Israeli forces claim that the hospital is used by Hamas as a command center and a base, with several tunnel entry points within the hospital complex.
The forces also allege that Hamas has kept hostages in the tunnels underneath the hospital, including two Israeli civilians who were abducted on October 7 and later killed by Hamas.
The allegations, however, have been repeatedly denied by Hamas, as well as the Palestinian Health Ministry and the hospital authorities.
The arrest of the hospital director, Mohammed Abu Selemya, and his staff comes as a four-day humanitarian pause in the fighting, which was agreed by Hamas and Israel, has been postponed.
The pause was supposed to start on Thursday, but an Israeli government source says that they expect the deal to go ahead on Friday. According to the deal, Hamas will release 50 hostages from Gaza, and Israel will free 150 Palestinian detainees in the first phase of the pause.