A devastating incident unfolded at a Gaza hospital, claiming the lives of at least 500 people, leading to a blame game between Israel and Hamas. Here are 10 key facts about the tragic event:
1. Hospital Explosion
An explosion at a hospital in Gaza resulted in a shocking death toll, causing global outrage. The Hamas-run health ministry attributed the attacks to Israeli airstrikes, while Israel claimed it was due to Hamas rockets gone astray.
2. Israeli Army’s Statement
The Israeli army pointed to a “misfired rocket” by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group as the cause of the hospital explosion. They argued that the rocket hit the hospital during a failed launch.
3. Hamas’ Perspective
Hamas, an ally of the Islamic Jihad, accused Israel of a “brutal massacre” at the Baptist Arab National Hospital in Gaza. They dismissed Israel’s claims, emphasizing that they were part of a fabrication of lies.
4. US President’s Response
US President Joe Biden, en route to Israel, expressed his shock and sadness at the hospital explosion. In a statement, he described his outrage and deep sorrow over the incident and the loss of life.
5. UN Secretary-General’s Condemnation
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the deadly airstrike, deeming it a “horrific” attack. He emphasized the protection of hospitals and medical personnel under international humanitarian law.
6. International Protests
Outrage spread across the region as hundreds protested outside the UK and France embassies in Tehran, Iran. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi announced a day of “public mourning” and held Israel and its ally, the US, responsible for the attack.
7. Hezbollah’s Call to Action
The Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon called for a “day of rage” to denounce the strike, urging fellow Muslims and Arabs to express their intense anger through protests.
8. Protests in the West Bank
While the conflict raged in Gaza, clashes erupted in the West Bank’s Ramallah, as Palestinian security forces clashed with protesters. Tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse the demonstrators.
9. Humanitarian Concerns
Over one million people have fled northern Gaza for the south, with the UN warning of the dire situation for Palestinian civilians. Essential life-saving supplies are running low, and the UN has called for a humanitarian truce to facilitate aid delivery.
10. WHO’s Assessment
The World Health Organization (WHO) described the hospital strike as “unprecedented in its scale” and noted that 115 healthcare facilities in Gaza have been attacked, leaving most of the city’s hospitals non-operational.
Israeli Military Preparations
As tensions rise, the Israeli military has deployed armored vehicles on the outskirts of Gaza, indicating preparations for a potential ground-based assault. Israel cites retaliation for attacks on October 7, which claimed over 1,400 Israeli lives and resulted in hundreds of kidnappings.
The Israel-Palestine conflict continues to evoke international concern, with events evolving rapidly in the region.