Tel Aviv [Israel], February 29 (ANI/TPS): The Israeli agency COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories: Judea and Samaria and towards the Gaza Strip) refuted allegations that Israel interfered with medical aid for Gazan civilians by detaining local medics without cause, pointing out that it was the UN which chose to suspend operations after the Israeli military detained suspected terrorists among Palestinian medics.

GOCAT explained that on February 25, OCHAOPT (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Palestinian Areas) requested an urgent coordination with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to evacuate patients from the Al Amal hospital in Gaza.

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"Hamas systematically uses ambulances for transporting terrorists," said COGAT.

After the convoy began to move, the IDF received intelligence that raised the possibility there were terrorists within it. So, the IDF checked the identities of the passengers in the convoy when it left the hospital.

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During the inspection, three staffers from the Palestine Red Crescent Society were detained for questioning due to information attained regarding their possible involvement in terrorist activity.

After questioning them in the field, two of the staff members were arrested for further investigation, and the third was released.

COGAT called the UN's response to the paramedics' detention - the halting humanitarian coordination for 48 hours - "shocking."

"Despite repeated warnings from Israel about the Red Crescent's ties to terrorism, the UN fails to verify who they are coordinating movements for," said the agency.

COGAT went on to say that this was not the first time such an incident occurred and asked if the UN ever took "steps to prevent such abuse of humanitarian coordination?

"Blaming the IDF for not coordinating with terrorists and for the suspension of humanitarian coordination as a result [of the UN's failures] is nothing short of appalling," it declared. (ANI/TPS)

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