A blast at a hospital in Gaza City killed some 500 Palestinians on Tuesday in the deadliest single incident since Israel launched an unrelenting bombing campaign in retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas cross-border attack.
Israel’s military denied responsibility for the bombing, saying military intelligence suggested the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the enclave’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad military group.
Reactions have trailed the hospital bombing with U.S. Prtesident Joe Biden saying, “I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted.
“Immediately upon hearing this news, I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.
“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff, and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy.”
On its part, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, “WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip.
“The hospital was operational, with patients, health, and caregivers, and internally displaced people sheltering there.
“Early reports indicate hundreds of fatalities and injuries.
“The hospital was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military.
“The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced.
“WHO calls for the immediate active protection of civilians and health care.
“Evacuation orders must be reversed. International humanitarian law must be abided by, which means health care must be actively protected and never targeted,” it said.
Also reacting, Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeni said, “The hospital massacre confirms the enemy’s brutality and the extent of his feeling of defeat,” adding that the attack will be “a new turning point.”
For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza and not the IDF. Those who brutally murdered our children also murder their own children.”
Meanwhile, Israeli defense spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said, “An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.
“Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza.”
The Syrian presidency, on the other hand, said, “Syria holds Western countries responsible especially the United States of America, for this massacre and others, since they are a partner of the Zionist entity across all organised operations designed to kill Palestinians.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile, has called on “all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza.” (Reuters/NAN)
-October 18, 2023 @ 10:25 GMT |Tags: Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari Hamas Ismail Haniyeni President Tayyip Erdogan WHO