According to Palestinian authorities in the besieged territory, an Israeli airstrike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of at least 500 individuals. This devastating incident has drawn condemnation from various world leaders.
Here are some of the initial responses:
A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has labeled the airstrike as an act of “genocide” and a “humanitarian catastrophe.” Additionally, President Abbas has canceled a previously scheduled meeting with US President Joe Biden, who is expected to visit the region on Wednesday.
The Jordanian foreign ministry issued a strong condemnation of Israel’s attack, emphasizing the necessity for international protection of Palestinian civilians and a cessation of hostilities. King Abdullah II described the bombing of the Gaza hospital by Israel as a “massacre” and a “war crime” that cannot be overlooked.
The Egyptian government has issued a statement strongly denouncing the attack and has called on the international community to intervene and prevent further violations.
Qatar’s foreign ministry characterized the attack as a dangerous escalation. Their statement expressed concern about the expansion of Israeli attacks, which now include hospitals, schools, and other populated areas in Gaza.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The director-general of the UN health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, strongly condemned the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital and noted that early reports indicate “hundreds of deaths and injuries.” He called for the immediate protection of civilians and healthcare facilities and for the reversal of evacuation orders.
.@WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in north Gaza.
Early reports indicate hundreds of deaths and injuries.
We call for the immediate protection of civilians and health care, and for the evacuation orders to be reversed.#NotATarget https://t.co/6I4t99WV03
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) October 17, 2023
The Arab League
Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged international leaders to halt this tragedy in response to the attack. He expressed astonishment at the intentional bombing of a hospital and its vulnerable occupants and emphasized that Arab mechanisms would document these war crimes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the attack on social media, calling it the latest example of Israel’s actions devoid of basic human values. He invited humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack, highlighting the importance of adhering to the laws of war. He stressed that international law must be respected and that there are rules governing warfare, including the inadmissibility of targeting hospitals.
Iran’s foreign ministry characterized the air raid as an attack on “unarmed and defenseless people,” as reported by Iranian state media.