Gaza Doctor Dead in Prison

( – A prominent Palestinian surgeon from Gaza has died in an Israeli prison.

Adnan Al-Bursh, who served as Al Shifa Hospital’s head of orthopedics, was taken into custody by members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) while the doctor was working temporarily at Al-Awada Hospital, a facility located in north Gaza. Al Shifa Hospital is the biggest medical facility in Gaza. The IDF did not provide a specific reason for their arrest of Al-Bursh, only saying that he was imprisoned for “national security purposes.” Ten other medical workers were also arrested with Al-Bursh at that time.

He died while imprisoned at the Ofer jail located in the occupied West Bank.

The IDF also confirmed Al-Bursh’s death, claiming that he was a target of “assassination” and said that his demise was being investigated. No other details, including the cause of his death, were released.

Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups such as Palestinian Prisoners’ Society and the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs have blamed Israeli officials for Al-Bursh’s death. The organizations also claim that Israel is conducting a “systematic targeting” of key medical personnel in Gaza’s healthcare system.

For its part, the IDF and Israeli officials claim that Hamas uses hospitals and aid stations as fronts for their operations, a claim that Palestinian healthcare and aid workers have denied.

Al-Bursh is one of the hundreds of healthcare and aid workers who have died while serving civilians in Gaza. Insecurity Insight, an organization that conducts research and data collection and analysis of attacks on aid workers around the world, said that the conflict in Gaza has taken the lives of an estimated more than 200 aid workers. The Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry’s numbers are significantly higher, listing close to 500 casualties in healthcare workers alone since October 7 last year. October 7, 2023 was when Hamas militants launched a violent lightning offensive against Israel, killing more than 1,200 people – a great many of them civilians including women and children – in the process. Israel retaliated shortly after, launching an armed foray into Gaza that has continued to this day.

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