In a tragic turn of events, the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City has been reduced to rubble, with over 600 people reported dead. This devastating incident has been described as a war crime and genocide by Nebal Farsakh of the Red Crescent, who emphasized that many Palestinian civilians sought shelter in the hospital compound after being ordered to leave their homes by Israel. Farsakh denounced the destruction, stating that the hospital, which is considered a safe place under international law, has become a site of immense tragedy. Ziad Shehadah, a doctor in Gaza, echoed these sentiments, labeling the incident a massacre and warning that the final death toll could surpass 1,000.
Amidst the chaos and destruction, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which oversees the operation of Al-Ahli hospital, has expressed deep sorrow over the loss of this medical facility. The World Health Organization, along with several countries including Egypt, Qatar, and Türkiye, have also condemned the attack on the hospital.
However, Israel has denied any involvement in the destruction of the hospital. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari stated that the hospital was hit during an enemy rocket barrage that passed through its vicinity. Hagari further claimed that intelligence sources indicate the responsibility lies with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported this claim shortly after.
These allegations have sparked a heated debate, with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh holding Israel accountable for the brutality of the attack. He argued that the US, by providing cover to Israeli aggression, shared responsibility for the hospital attack. Haniyeh also called on Palestinians in the West Bank to rise up against Israel. In response to his call, a riot broke out in Ramallah, where hundreds of Palestinians protested President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to meet with US President Joe Biden. President Abbas subsequently canceled the meeting, citing the hospital attack as a reason.
Meanwhile, in Jordan, dozens of protesters attempted to breach the Israeli embassy in Amman, but were dispersed by the police. Russia and the United Arab Emirates have called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to be held on Wednesday to address the Gaza hospital attack.
This devastating incident has raised concerns about the escalating violence in Gaza and the toll it is taking on innocent civilians. The destruction of a hospital, which should be a place of safety and healing, has further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the region. The international community must come together to condemn such acts and find a peaceful resolution to this ongoing conflict. The lives of countless innocent people hang in the balance, and urgent action is needed to prevent further loss of life and destruction.