Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza: World condemns, the US shields

While the world has condemned the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, the US-led West has remained a mute spectator.

Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza: World condemns, the US shields

File Photo of Palestinian protest by TIMO on

The Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, October 17th, has killed and injured over 800 civilians, according to Al-Arabiya. This is one of the deadliest attacks on a medical facility in a conflict.

According to reports, apart from injured patients undergoing treatment in the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, many displaced civilians were also killed in the Israeli attack. Several civilians have started taking shelter in and around Gaza hospitals, considering them safe havens in the violence-torn region.

Bombing of hospital and medical facilities are considered crimes under the Geneva Convention. Israel has been accused of gross violations of the Geneva Convention rules during the ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip. The Israeli strikes have even targeted the United Nations (UN) workers in the Gaza Strip.

Condemnations of the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza

The international community has strongly condemned the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza. Protests have erupted in different cities of the Arab world, Africa, Europe and Türkiye against Israel and the West, which is supporting the Zionist government’s atrocities.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed shock at the war crime committed by Israel and strongly condemned the strike. He said in a tweet that his thoughts are “with the families of those who died”. Guterres also underscored that attacks on medical facilities are prohibited under international laws.

Guterres’s spokesperson said that an Israeli strike on a school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) killed at least six people on Tuesday. The UN aid workers are discharging their duties under immense threat to their lives from Israel.

Syrian Foreign Ministry called the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza a barbaric act and a testament to the deep-seated animosity of Israel. In a statement, the Syrian ministry called the Israeli strike one of the most appalling atrocities in modern history and the actions a disturbing escalation of violence and aggression. Syria emphasised the need for accountability of Israel for its war crimes.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the attack on the Gaza hospital. “Moscow is deeply shocked. We express our deep condolences to the families of the victims and the people and government of Palestine”, the ministry’s statement said.

“We reaffirm Russia’s position of principle on the unacceptability of violence against civilians and strikes on medical facilities or any other civilian infrastructure facilities”, the statement further mentioned.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council, condemned the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital. He called it a criminal act and accused the US of abetting the war crime.

“The heinous strike on a hospital in the Gaza Strip undoubtedly constitutes a war crime. And the ultimate responsibility for it rests on the shoulders of those who are cynically profiting on wars in different countries on different continents – on the United States of America”, Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning condemned the attack on Gaza hospital, during her regular press briefing. She reiterated China’s stand, which calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities.

“China is shocked by and strongly condemns the attack on the hospital in Gaza, which has caused massive casualties. We mourn for the victims and extend sympathies to the injured. China calls for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, fulfilment of obligations under the international humanitarian law and every possible effort to protect civilians and avert an even worse humanitarian disaster”, Mao said during her press conference.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian condemned the attack on the Gaza hospital. Amir-Abdollahian said that the Muslim world will never tolerate the Zionists’ war crimes against women and children in the Gaza Strip.

He made the remarks in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) handle while returning from the emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah

“The Israeli crimes must stop immediately. Muslim countries should sever relations with the Zionist regime and put an embargo on Israeli goods. Influential religious and Christian figures are also expected to condemn the recent criminal acts”, Amir-Abdollahian said at the OIC meeting.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi condemned the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, saying that the Israeli regime is accelerating its demise by killing innocent Palestinian women and children in besieged Gaza.

“Every drop of Palestinian blood brings the Zionists closer to downfall, and the Zionist regime cannot compensate for its defeats with these atrocities”, Raeisi said while addressing a huge gathering on Wednesday in Tehran.

“Which human being accepts this heinous crime? Killing women and children, attacking hospitals—this marks the beginning of the end for the Zionist regime”, Raeisi added. Iran has also stressed imposing an embargo on Israel to stop its atrocities and war crimes against the Palestinian people.

The regional geopolitical implications

Following the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, a meeting of Jordanian King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with the visiting US President Joe Biden was cancelled. The summit was supposed to take place on Wednesday, October 18th, in Amman during the US president’s Jordan trip.

“After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt”, the White House said in a statement.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi informed the press that the decision was taken after talking to the stakeholders. “Our decision not to hold the four-party summit was made after consultations with the Palestinian authorities, Cairo and Washington”, he told the press.

In the meantime, Iran pressed for an embargo on Israel for its war crimes against Palestinian civilians. The Iranian foreign minister raised the issue during the emergency Executive Committee meeting of the OIC.

“It is necessary to impose political and economic sanctions on the regime and members should also set up a tribunal to try Israeli leaders, pilots, army commanders and political figures”, Amir-Abdollahian said at Jeddah.

“Muslim countries should work towards opening up humanitarian corridors for the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip and their access to drinking water, food and medicine. The OIC member states should also urge the Security Council to issue resolutions in support of Palestine and condemnation of Israel’s settlement construction”, the Iranian foreign minister urged.

The US attempt to build up a network of allies for the Israeli government in the Middle East has also suffered a huge jolt, as most of the countries that have established diplomatic ties with Israel, like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, or Saudi Arabia which has been trying to normalise relations with Tel Aviv, have collectively condemned its war crimes.

The foreign ministry of Bahrain has condemned the attack on the Gaza hospital and demanded that the international community step in to protect civilian lives and ensure that the international rules that safeguard civilians during conflicts, especially hospitals, are strictly followed.

Egypt strongly opposed the Israeli plan to push the Palestinians living in Gaza to its territories. Egypt has condemned the Israeli bombing of the Gaza hospital and demanded that humanitarian aid be allowed to reach the civilians of besieged Gaza.

“Saudi Arabia categorically rejects this brutal attack, which is a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms, including international humanitarian law”, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“This dangerous development forces the international community to abandon double standards and selectivity in applying international humanitarian law when it comes to Israeli criminal practices. It requires a serious and firm stance to provide protection for defenceless civilians”, the statement added.

Israel’s deflection tactics

Facing international condemnation, Israel has pinned the blame of the attack on a misfired rocket by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants. However, the PIJ rejected the allegations.

“The Zionist enemy is trying hard to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed by bombing the Baptist Arab National Hospital in Gaza through its usual fabrication of lies, and through pointing the finger of blame at the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine”, the PIJ said in a statement.

The statement further denounced the allegations as false and baseless, “We, therefore, affirm the accusations put forward by the enemy are false and baseless.”

In the meantime, the Palestinians have claimed that an Israeli official’s tweet confirming that the air attack had hit a hospital was later deleted to avoid controversy. The unverified screenshot of the tweet has been circulating on social media, which the Israelis called a mistake by a social media team member of the official.

“There were claims that Hamas bombed the hospital. The US President also said that it was not Israel that hit there but someone else. However, all experts claim that the missile was fired by Israel. The claims of Hamas’ involvement are disinformation”, Türkiye’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s spokesperson Omer Celik told the press.

Rejecting the Israeli narrative and blaming it for the attack on the Gaza hospital, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, “Hamas will publish all the evidence to the world that confirms this massacre was committed intentionally and will present it to international jurisdictions”.

The developments in the conflict

Attempts by the Arab countries, and their friends like China and Russia, to restore peace through an immediate ceasefire are opposed by the US and the West. The US continues to vouch for Israel, ignoring the plight of the Palestinian civilians.

Biden declared during his Israel visit that the US wants to ensure the safety of the hostages taken by the Hamas militants and it will remain the top priority of Washington DC, without mentioning any concern for the Palestinian civilians.

Even though the US vetoed Russia’s UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian authorities are still pinning their hopes on China and Russia, the two major powers that didn’t support Israeli war crimes.

“We are counting on the role of Russia and China in the current conflict”, Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal told the Sky News Arabia channel, emphasising that the Palestinians will never leave their land “whatever the price may be”.

Stressing the two-state solution according to the 1993-Oslo Accords and other international agreements, Nofal told the channel, “The world must compel Israel to implement the two-state project to evade a catastrophe.”

So far, according to the official sources from both sides, Israeli airstrikes have killed 3,700 Palestinians and wounded over 12,000, while the Hamas attacks on the occupied territories killed more than 1,300 and wounded 4,600 others.

As the conflict escalated following the Israeli bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, it’s unlikely that the conflict will end anytime soon. The obstinate position of the US-led West on supporting Israel’s war crimes is going to prolong the conflict and increase civilian casualties, the international community fears.

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