Gaza hospital director released by Israel

Israel released more than 50 Palestinian prisoners from detention on Monday. They include the director of a hospital that authorities said was used as a command center for Hamas.

Authorities said they made the move to free up space in overcrowded detention centers. One of the detainees was Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa hospital. He was arrested in November after Israeli troops stormed the facility.

After his release, Abu Salmiya said there was almost daily torture. He said cells were raided every day, and prisoners were severely beaten. He added, "We say this with full certainty. We lived through it with great bitterness."

Abu Salmiya was held without being charged and without a trial. He rejected allegations that the hospital was used for military purposes.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders said their forces in Gaza have killed about 20 militants during raids on sites used to make and store weapons.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday his military was advancing to the end of the phase of eliminating "the terrorist army of Hamas." He added that the forces will continue to strike its remnants.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday the troops were destroying tunnels Hamas uses to store weapons and get around. He added that the militants have no way of arming themselves, treating casualties, or bringing in reinforcements. He said they are being "worn down."