Gaza Hospital Attack – What We Know So Far

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 500 people died in the Gaza Hospital attack that occurred on Tuesday, which was claimed to be an IDF attack, but the Israeli military claims that the hospital was targeted when the Islamic Jihad organization Hamas accidentally fired a rocket.

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The Anglican Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip was hit by a huge explosion on Tuesday, and according to Palestinian sources, at least 500 people were killed in what they claimed was an IDF attack.

Israel claims that the Palestinian militant organization Islamic Jihad is to blame for the devastating explosion that shook the hospital in the Gaza Strip. Israel has denied any participation. What details of the fatal assault are now known?

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Palestine’s Stance on Hospital Blast

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 500 people died in the explosion that occurred on Tuesday while at least 6,000 Palestinians were taking refuge at the Anglican Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City. The Gaza-based branch of the Palestinian militant organization Hamas maintains that the bombing killed more than 500 people.

The Israeli military claimed that the hospital was targeted when the Islamic Jihad organization accidentally fired a rocket, but Gaza officials said that the strike was carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel has designated Islamic Jihad and Hamas as terrorist groups.

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People search through debris outside the site of the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza on October 18, 2023 in the aftermath of an overnight blast there.

Riyad Mansour, the ambassador for Palestine to the UN, stated that the Arab Group of the UN “condemns this action in the strongest possible terms and we hold Israel responsible for this massacre.”

“We as an Arab group demand immediately a ceasefire because a continuation of the war – it means killing more Palestinians every moment,” he added. Asked about the IDF’s claim that the blast was due to a botched rocket launch by Islamic Jihad, Mansour slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a liar.”

In response to the incident, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for three days of mourning and canceled a meeting with US President Joe Biden, who had traveled to Israel on Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a show of support, according to US media.

Israel’s Position

According to a statement from the Israeli army’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, “an analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.”

“Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our possession indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital in Gaza,” he argued.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the claim, saying, “So the whole world knows: The barbaric terrorists in Gaza are the ones who attacked the Gaza hospital, not the IDF.” He claimed, “Those who cruelly murdered our children murder their children as well.”

In the same vein, Israeli President Isaac Herzog rejected accusations that the IDF conducted an airstrike on the hospital as “a blood libel.”

“An Islamic Jihad missile has killed many Palestinians at a Gazan hospital — a place where lives should be saved.”

Herzog tweeted

This occurred at the same time as Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari announced that the IDF would soon release the radar data, video footage, and audio recording of militants in Gaza blaming Islamic Jihad.

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President Biden will receive a “full briefing” when the US president arrives in Israel, according to Hagari.

World Reaction

Israel’s allies voiced concern at the death toll among civilians but refrained from speculating about who was responsible for the Gaza hospital explosion.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly described the explosion as “a devastating loss of human life”, adding that “the protection of civilian life must come first.”

The UK “will work with our allies to find out what has happened and protect innocent civilians in Gaza,” he declared.

“The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters, adding that “international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases.”

In a tweet, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that he was “horrified” by the photographs of the Gaza hospital explosion and stated that “Innocent civilians were injured and killed.” “The families of the victims are in our thoughts. It is crucial that the situation be thoroughly investigated, he continued.

US President Joe Biden said that he was “outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted.”

Following the explosion at the Gaza hospital, a number of Arab nations sharply denounced Israel.

The foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia released a statement in which it said Riyadh “categorically rejects this brutal attack, which is a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms, including international humanitarian law.”

The bombardment was condemned by Jordan’s King Abdullah II as “a heinous war crime that cannot be tolerated,” and he said that “Israel must immediately stop its brutal aggression against Gaza.”

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the president of Egypt, described the incident as “a clear violation of international law and the provisions of international legitimacy and humanity” in “the strongest terms.”

The United Arab Emirates condemned what it called “the Israeli attack” and urged the international community “to intensify efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of life, to avoid further fueling the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and to advance all efforts to achieve a comprehensive and just peace, while preventing the region from being pulled into new levels of violence, tension and instability.”

Bassem al-Awadi, a representative for the Iraqi government, described the explosion at the Gaza hospital as “a war crime,” contending that the Israeli force “has crossed all the lines.”

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, emphasized that Moscow views “such a criminal act as a crime, [and] as an act of dehumanization.” She highlighted that in order to show that its army was not responsible for the attack on the Gaza hospital, Israel must produce satellite images.

“Provide satellite images […] that would indicate the entire geography of the flights, with all the details that were available at that moment. I think this could be a serious and important step to justify yourselves,” Zakharova said, referring to Israeli authorities.

The Russian envoy described the Middle East scenario as “a global humanitarian disaster on a global scale,” adding that it has spread far beyond the region.

The Israeli media reported on a “record-breaking spike” in the number of nations purchasing Israeli cyberwarfare and intelligence systems, from 67 to 83 in 2022, but a setback due to intelligence failure will likely cause Israel’s cybersecurity industry to face major losses.

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1 COMMENT

  1. How do you shelter 6000 people in an 80 bed hospital?? How do we get 500 people killed by a hole in the ground made by a small mortar size explosion?? How do you get mass casualties in a building that has a few marks on the exterior and the windows blown out??

    Many of the cars in the parking lot where the explosion happened weren’t actually burned, only paint damage from the blast.

    Do y’all have any idea how to do investigative journalism when you can’t trust the major players?? Whatever caused the explosion it is quite obvious that Hamas used it as a propaganda tool lying about the casualties.

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