RT Arabic reporter Saed Swerki emotionally reported from the Gaza City hospital on Wednesday evening following a tragic incident the previous evening in which hundreds of lives were lost, including five of Swerki’s relatives. Swerki, reporting live from the Ahli Arab Hospital, revealed that his cousin and her children were among those killed in the explosion. The exact number of casualties is still being determined, but the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported at least 450 deaths and over 1,000 injuries.
Sadly, this is the second time in a week that Swerki has experienced the loss of family members. On October 11, four of his in-laws were killed when their high-rise building was targeted and destroyed by an Israeli bombing.
Despite his personal grief, Swerki expressed that now is not the time for mourning, but rather a time to raise awareness about the suffering endured by those affected by the conflict. He emphasized the importance of sending a message to the world that there are people in Gaza who refuse to die in silence. Swerki stated, “By the will of God, we have become the voice of those who are voiceless.”
The emotional toll of war was evident in Swerki’s words. He admitted that as a reporter, he often struggles with his emotions, particularly when he hears explosions and fears for the safety of his loved ones, including his grandson. The uncertainty and fear that come with living in a war zone weigh heavily on him and others in similar situations.
The hospital compound was struck by a bomb or missile at approximately 6:30 pm local time on Tuesday, causing widespread destruction and injuring numerous civilians. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Naqa informed Reuters that over 3,000 people sought refuge at the hospital at the time of the strike. Many residents of Gaza sought shelter in hospitals because they had nowhere else to go, as Israel had ordered the evacuation of the northern part of the territory.
Israel quickly denied responsibility for the explosion, attributing it to a misfire from rockets fired by militant groups in Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically blamed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant group operating in the region, based on military intelligence. However, PIJ rejected Israel’s claims and accused the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) of attempting to cover up their own actions.
The international community condemned the attack on the hospital. The Arab League, the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization were among those who criticized the incident. Various countries, including Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, placed the blame on Israel. Canada, Brazil, France, and Germany denounced the attack without explicitly naming the responsible party. US President Joe Biden expressed outrage and sadness over the explosion but supported Israel’s version of events.
The escalating violence led to Netanyahu declaring “war” on Hamas in Gaza after the group carried out attacks on nearby villages and military bases. According to the government in West Jerusalem, the attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,300 Israelis.
In conclusion, the devastating consequences of the recent explosion at the Gaza City hospital have left Saed Swerki and his family in mourning. The incident highlights the ongoing suffering experienced by the people of Gaza and the difficulties faced by journalists reporting from conflict zones. The international community has condemned the attack, although disagreements persist regarding the responsible party. The situation in the region remains tense, with escalating violence and increasing casualties.