[Airstrike Kills Hundreds In Anglican Hospital In Gaza]

12:00 Oct 17 2023 al-Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza City (المستشفى الأهلي العربي)

[Airstrike Kills Hundreds In Anglican Hospital In Gaza]
Scene. Published by IMEMC News

Israeli Airstrike Kills Over 500 In Anglican Hospital In Gaza

by IMEMC News
Oct 18, 2023

An Israeli airstrike on Tuesday hit the Al-Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza, killing 500 civilians, including patients, staff, family members and other civilians who had taken shelter at the hospital. A United Nations School that had become a makeshift shelter this past week was also hit.

This brings the death toll in Gaza to over 2700 killed in the last ten days by Israeli airstrikes. Palestinian resistance fighters from the armed wing of the Hamas party killed an estimated 900 Israelis, and took over 100 hostage.

Video footage from Gaza released on social media and online news sources after Tuesday’s bombing shows distraught rescue workers in the midst of bodies strewn across the rubble, crying and wailing that “there are too many to count”.

The Israeli government’s attempt to deny their responsibility for the massacre were easily debunked by reporters in Gaza, who showed the massive scale of the destruction of the hospital. The flattening of a building of that size is far beyond the capability of any of the paltry homemade rockets produced by any of the resistance groups in Gaza. Despite this obvious falsehood, major media outlets worldwide repeated Israeli officials’ claim that it was ‘Islamic Jihad’ that bombed the hospital, when it was clearly an Israeli airstrike.

This is not the first time this week that Israeli airstrikes hit Al-Ahli Hospital, which is located in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in northern Gaza — an area which has been under heavy bombardment every day and night for the past ten days. On Friday, Israeli forces ordered the evacuation of the entire northern Gaza Strip so they could launch a ground invasion. Al-Ahli was one of six hospitals ordered to evacuate, but they were unable to move the wounded and ill patients being treated there. Two days ago, an Israeli airstrike hit a wing of the Al-Ahli Hospital, causing damage and injuries.

Tuesday’s strike resulted in a massive fire that burned for hours. Rescue workers lack the water to put out fires, as Israel cut off water to the Gaza Strip on October 8th, and the Palestinian residents are trying to preserve what little water they have stored to be able to drink and survive.

The hospital, like other Gaza hospitals, has been working under impossible conditions since the beginning of this war. In addition, many families also tried to find refuge in and around the hospital, hoping that it would provide some sanctuary from the relentless bombing. Israel has ordered the hospital closed and its people evacuated as part of its campaign to clear out 1.1 million people from the north of Gaza, an order that the United Nations said was not possible to fulfill and would create a humanitarian catastrophe. Hospital administration and staff refused to leave, knowing it would be an immediate death sentence for many of its patients, and they continued to carry out their humanitarian task. Unfortunately, they paid heavily for their courage.

Founded in 1882 by the Anglican Church Missionary Society of the Church of England, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital has been providing service to the people of Gaza for 141 years and is considered one of the oldest in the Strip. After 1954, it operated as a ministry of the US Southern Baptist Convention until the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem took over operations in 1982 and has continued operations until today. Al Ahli is known internationally as a special place of healing and has been supported by Baptists, the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and many other faith communities around the world. Many international members and partners from all denominations are familiar with Al Ahli Arab Hospital and its administration and have regularly contributed to its work. Sing Appeal to your representative in the US, Call to Demand Immediate Ceasefire and Humanitarian Assistance in response to Gaza Hospital Bombing – Friends Of Sabeel North America

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement condemning the bombing of the hospital, saying, “Hospitals and medical personnel are protected under international humanitarian law. My heart is with the families of the victims.

Twitter posts:

1:17 PM · Oct 17, 2023
This video showed children playing in the hospital just a day before the airstrike. Most of these children were killed in Tuesday’s bombing.

Dan Cohen
11:41 AM · Oct 17, 2023
The following is an interview with Dr. Mohammad Ziara in al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, where most of the wounded from the Al-Ahli bombing have been taken. He told reporter Dan Cohen that the number of killed may be closer to 800 than 500.

Middle East Eye
3:16 PM · Oct 17, 2023
In this clip a doctor describes the scene of devastation in Al-Ahli Hospital:

Francesco Sebregondi
@FSBRG Oct 18, 2023
About the #Gaza #hospital blast,
The version saying it would have been caused by Palestinian rocket (mis)fire is gaining traction online and among #OSINT communities.
A thread showing weaknesses in this version, and why an Israeli bombing is highly more plausible.⬇️ 1/x

A Close Look at Some Key Evidence in the Gaza Hospital Blast
A widely cited missile video does not shed light on what happened, a Times analysis concludes.

By Aric Toler, Haley Willis, Riley Mellen, Alexander Cardia, Natalie Reneau, Julian E. Barnes and Christoph Koettl for The New York Times
Published Oct. 24, 2023
Updated Oct. 25, 2023, 10:12 a.m. ET

Israel Says Failed Islamic Jihad Rocket Launch Killed Hundreds at Gaza Hospital; Hamas Blames IDF

IDF says audio recording proves Islamic Jihad culpability; Netanyahu accuses 'barbaric terrorists' of responsibility for deaths at al-Ahli hospital

by Yaniv Kubovich, Ben Samuels, The Associated Press, and Reuters
Published by Haaretz
Oct 17, 2023

Israel has strongly denied that it was responsible for the explosion at a packed hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday, saying that a failed missile launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for the carnage.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry said that hundreds of people were killed in what it alleged was an Israeli airstrike. Photos from Al-Ahli Hospital showed fire engulfing the hospital halls, shattered glass and body parts scattered across the area. The ministry said at least 500 people had been killed.

Israeli civilian and military leaders were quick to deny responsibility, with videos of an alleged Islamic Jihad missile launch being widely disseminated on social media.

On Wednesday, the Israeli army released aerial photos to prove that there were no signs of Israeli planes striking the hospital.

According to IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who briefed the foreign press early Wednesday, the army's assessment is based on "intelligence information from several sources." The statement goes on to say that "from the analysis of the IDF's operational systems, an enemy rocket barrage was launched towards Israel and passed in the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit."

Hagari added that "intelligence from a few sources that we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza. I repeat, this is the responsibility of Islamic jihad that killed innocents in the hospital in Gaza."

Hagari added that Israel has audio recordings of telephone conversations between Hamas members in which they implicate Islamic Jihad in the explosion.

"Categorically we do not strike any sensitive facilities - definitely not hospitals. Very much aware of the presence of civilians," IDF International Spokesperson Jonathan Conricus told CNN.

The U.S. Department of Defense declined to address the mass casualty event at the Gaza hospital, though Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh charged Hamas with "putting their command and control units inside hospitals."

She added that the U.S. has "no confirmation" on who bears responsibility, shortly before Israel blamed a failed Islamic Jihad launch.

A spokesman for Islamic denied the Israeli allegations.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog harshly criticized media outlets for their coverage of the devastating explosion. "An Islamic Jihad missile has killed many Palestinians at a Gazan hospital - a place where lives should be saved," Herzog wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. "Shame on the media who swallow the lies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad - broadcasting a 21st century blood libel around the globe."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, said that “the barbaric terrorists in Gaza are responsible for the attack on the Gaza hospital, not the IDF. The people who brutally murdered our children are murdering their own children too.”

U.S. President Joe Biden, who is on his way Israel for a historic war-time visit, said that he was "outraged and deeply saddened" by the explosion.

. . .

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said she was "horrified" by the Gaza hospital attack without ascribing blame to either party.

"While details are still emerging and bodies are still being counted, the scenes on the ground are devastating," she said, adding "attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, are unacceptable and must cease now."

Several hospitals in Gaza City have become refuges for hundreds of people, hoping they would be spared bombardment after Israel ordered all residents of the city and surrounding areas to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said early on Wednesday that targeting Al-Ahli hospital is a "hideous war massacre" that cannot be tolerated, adding that any talks about anything else rather than stopping the war is unacceptable.

"Israel has crossed all red lines. ... We will not leave nor allow anyone to expel us from there", he added.

The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which owned and operated the Al-Ahli Hospital where hundreds were killed in a mass casualty event, condemned the "atrocious attack ... in the strongest terms."

"Initial reports suggest the loss of countless lives, a manifestation of what can only be described as a crime against humanity. Hospitals, by the tenets of international humanitarian law, are sanctuaries, yet this assault has transgressed those sacred boundaries," said the diocese about Gaza's only independent, Christian-led medical facility.

"Regrettably, Gaza remains bereft of safe havens. We assert unequivocally that this is deserving international condemnation and retribution. An urgent appeal resonates for the international community to fulfill its duty in protecting civilians and ensuring that such inhumane horrific acts are not replicated," the diocese added.
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