Hamas arrests outspoken opposition doctor in Gaza

August 9, 2007 11:56


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Hamas security forces on Wednesday arrested an opposition doctor fired after he reported that supplies at the Gaza Strip's largest hospital have been scarce since the Islamic militant group took over Gaza. Gunmen took Dr. Jomma Saka and his 18-year-old son into custody at around 2 a.m. and transferred them to an unknown destination, his wife, Hanan, said. Hamas denied the arrest was politically motivated. Saka denied Hamas' allegations, and had been organizing a strike at Shifa later Wednesday meant to pressure Hamas to reinstate him as head of the hospital's public relations department. "The decision to send Dr. Saka for investigations stemmed from many reasons, including giving false information that has intimidated the public," Dr. Bassem Naim, the health minister in the Hamas government in Gaza, said in a statement. "It has nothing to do with his political affiliation." Saka is loyal to the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas' nemesis, and last week he held a news conference where he claimed that medical equipment at Shifa Hospital was in short supply as a result of border closures following Hamas' takeover of Gaza two months ago.

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