The Palestinian Health Ministry, run by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, accused Hamas' security apparatus Saturday of commandeering a number of hospital wards in the Gaza Strip for the purpose of converting them into interrogation and imprisonment compounds.
According to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, the Palestinian Health Ministry claimed that Hamas members expelled them and full medical teams from hospital wards despite the serious security situation.
A communiqué put out by the ministry said that "following the unilateral cessation of Israeli aggression against our people, the Ministry of Health, along with all the Palestinian people, was shocked to discover that Hamas militias have returned to their old ways and have expelled all the medical staff responding to the calls of the homeland (to continue their work.) Unfortunately, these same militias used the medical centers, especially in a number of hospitals, converting them into centers for interrogation, torture, and imprisonment."
According to the Health Ministry, Hamas members have taken control of wards in Shifa Hospital, as well as al-Nasser Hospital and the psychiatric hospital.
The Palestinian Authority-controlled Ministry urged Hamas "to act responsibly and to cease immediately the harassment of medical staff."
In addition, the Ministry also called Hamas "to halt the stealing of medical aid sent to the Strip most of which (Hamas) has redirected to the organization's warehouses and centers."
The remarks were made in reference to the equipment reportedly stolen from UNRWA aid sent to the Gaza Strip, a incident that led the UN organization to cease its operations in Gaza.