A significant number of individuals have been brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following an Israeli assault on the courtyard of al-Ahli Arab Hospital. The bombardment from Israel has devastated the crowded hospital complex, resulting in the deaths of approximately 500 people. Among the victims are both patients and displaced Palestinians seeking shelter inside the hospital.
According to Gaza Strip officials, the health ministry in Gaza has attributed Wednesday’s explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital to an Israeli air raid. However, Israel claims that the blast was caused by a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group. The PIJ has denied these allegations.
The attack has generated widespread international condemnation, as disturbing images of burning rooms and heavily burdened stretchers circulate through news outlets and social media platforms. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) expressed outrage on social media, emphasizing that this act once again displays a blatant disregard for civilian lives.
The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, went so far as to describe the attack as a “massacre” and a shameful act against humanity. The Gaza health ministry released a statement stating that the al-Ahli Arab Hospital played a crucial role in providing shelter to civilians in need. It stated that the hospital had housed hundreds of sick and injured individuals, as well as forcibly displaced individuals.
Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals have witnessed an influx of tens of thousands of families seeking refuge from the relentless shelling carried out by the Israeli army. Distressing footage from Al Jazeera revealed medics and civilians recovering bodies, securing them in white bags or blankets. The hospital courtyard displayed bloodstains and the haunting sight of charred vehicles.
Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) political party, expressed his belief that the hospital attack should prompt world leaders to reconsider their support for Israel. Barghouti questioned whether they would condemn this Israeli massacre and its aggressive behavior. He called attention to the fact that no other country in the world targets hospitals in such a manner. He urged world leaders to recognize their ability to restrain Israel, as they provide the weapons, funds, and support for these Israeli aggressors. Additionally, Barghouti suggested that civilian infrastructure is deliberately targeted in Israeli attacks.