Several world leaders have condemned the attack as Israel Occupation Forces deny any involvement.
An Israeli strike has killed more than 500 Palestinians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, according to Palestinian authorities in the besieged territory, inciting protests and reactions from world leaders.
Deemed one of the deadliest attacks in years, Israeli officials have blamed a “failed rocket launch” by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, while Palestinian officials blamed Israeli airstrikes for the attack that killed civilians seeking treatment and shelter.
Countless protesters have demonstrated across the Middle East region and in North Africa, showing up at the embassies of Western governments.
Waleed Siam, Palestinian ambassador to Japan, stated the Christian-run Al-Ahli Arab Hospital received a warning from the Israeli military one hour before the strike.
“We are deeply saddened and utterly shocked by the horrifying massacre that unfolded less than 12 hours ago,” Siam said.
“Over the past 11 days, hospitals and medical facilities have been subjected to relentless bombings by the Israeli occupation forces. Despite their evacuation warnings, we must question the feasibility of evacuating hospitals filled with injured citizens requiring ongoing medical care,” the ambassador added.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated on his social media account that he was “horrified by hundreds of people’s deaths in the strike.”
“I am horrified by the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in a strike on a hospital in Gaza today, which I strongly condemn. My heart is with the families of the victims. Hospitals and medical personnel are protected under international humanitarian law,” Guterres wrote on X.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva voiced that “the innocent cannot pay for the insanity of war.”
“The attack on Baptista Al-Ahli Hospital is an unjustifiable tragedy. Wars don’t make any sense. Lives lost forever. Hospitals, houses, schools, built with so much sacrifice, destroyed in moments. I repeat this appeal. The innocent cannot pay for the insanity of war,” Silva, known as Lula, wrote on X.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the “responsibility for this crime must be clearly established and the perpetrators held accountable.” At the same time, President of the European Council Charles Michel said that attacks are illegal under law.
“Nothing justifies a strike on a hospital crowded with civilians in Gaza. We are horrified by the tragic attack on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Targeting civilian infrastructure is not consistent with international law. Conducting a comprehensive investigation into the Al-Ahli Hospital incident and holding those responsible accountable are necessary,” Michel voiced.
After Jordan canceling a summit scheduled to be hosted in Amman on Wednesday with US President Joe Biden and Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to discuss Gaza, the US backed Israel’s account of the attack.
Landing in Tel Aviv, where he was greeted warmly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said he was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the explosion.
“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” Biden said.
“Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you. But there’s a lot of people out there not sure so we have to overcome a lot of things,” Biden added.
The US president is expected to meet the Israeli war cabinet later and ask “tough questions” to better understand Israel’s objectives in Gaza, according to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
According to Palestinian health officials, at least 3,000 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza.