Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024
Gaza Hospital

Late on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, a strike on Gaza City’s al-Ahli hospital resulted in the tragic loss of hundreds of lives. Palestinian officials attributed the strike to the Israeli military, while Israel, in contrast, denied any involvement and pointed to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as responsible. At the time of the attack, many individuals were seeking refuge or receiving medical care within the hospital, as reported by the Hamas government.

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, an MSF doctor present at Ahli Arab Hospital during the attack, stated, ‘We were operating in the hospital, there was a strong explosion, and the ceiling fell on the operating room. This is a massacre.’ An official from the Palestinian Civil Defense described the scenes from the attack as ‘indescribable,’ emphasizing that it was a major tragedy and called for international action.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released a statement suggesting that their analysis of operational systems indicated a barrage of rockets fired by Gaza-based terrorists had passed near the Al Ahli hospital at the time it was struck. They further claimed that intelligence from multiple sources pointed to the Islamic Jihad’s responsibility for the failed rocket launch that led to the hospital’s tragic hit.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, asserted, ‘the entire world needs to know — the barbaric terrorists in Gaza are the ones who attacked the hospital and not the IDF. Those who killed our children are killing their own children.’ The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, on the other hand, denied Israel’s allegations.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya referred to the ‘hospital massacre’ as a ‘turning point’ and called on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to confront Israeli soldiers and settlers. This tragic event unfolded amid Israel’s continued heavy bombardment of Gaza, following a prior Hamas attack on October 7.

On a distressing note, Israel ordered more than one million Palestinians residing in Gaza to evacuate to the southern part of the enclave, a move criticized by hospital workers and many Palestinians who deemed it impossible due to ongoing strikes, worsening humanitarian and healthcare crises, and the limited shelter space in the small enclave, comparable in size to Detroit.

The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the strike on the Gaza City hospital, emphasizing that it was operational and serving patients, healthcare providers, and internally displaced individuals. WHO called for the immediate active protection of civilians and healthcare facilities, urging the reversal of evacuation orders and compliance with international humanitarian law.

Several Arab countries swiftly condemned the hospital strike, with the Qatari foreign ministry describing the expansion of Israeli attacks to include hospitals, schools, and population centers as a dangerous escalation. Russia and the United Arab Emirates have requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to address the Gaza hospital strike.

In response to the hospital blast and loss of life, President Biden expressed outrage and deep sadness, stating that the United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian lives during conflicts. He has directed his national security team to gather more information about the incident.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, originally in Jordan for a meeting with President Biden, is returning to Ramallah to convene an emergency meeting of Palestinian leadership. A senior Abbas adviser, Hussein al-Sheikh, called the hospital massacre a matter that cannot be tolerated and urged the international community to intervene immediately to stop it. Protests have erupted in Ramallah and other cities in the occupied West Bank, with growing anger directed at the Palestinian Authority.


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