Israeli Airstrike Hits Gaza Hospital, 500 Killed

Gaza Hospital Tragedy: An Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis

In a tragic incident, an Israeli airstrike on a Gaza hospital killed at least 500 Palestinians, marking one of the deadliest single events since the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon. The strike, which caused the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City to go up in flames, is blamed for the casualties. Many of the victims had sought refuge at the hospital to escape the relentless Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) prepared for a ground invasion.

A Hospital Under Siege

The al-Ahli hospital, an Anglican-run facility, had already been hit by Israeli rocket fire on October 14, leaving four people injured, according to a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Israel put Hospitals across northern Gaza on notice with a complete evacuation order for the Gaza Strip north of Wadi Gaza, a move criticized by the World Health Organization as a “death sentence for the sick and injured.”

Tens of thousands of displaced people had crowded around hospitals, viewing them as havens from violence and potential targets. This mass displacement has only added to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Contradictory Claims and Denials

The aftermath of the hospital bombing saw contradictory claims and denials. While the Israeli military spokesperson initially expressed uncertainty about the responsible party, the IDF later attributed the incident to a “failed rocket launch” by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This assertion was met with skepticism, as no Palestinian rocket has previously caused such extensive destruction.

In a bizarre twist, a social media influencer affiliated with the Israeli military’s ‘digital war’ team initially celebrated the hospital bombing as a successful strike against a “Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital.” The tweet was later deleted, raising questions about the official narrative.

International Condemnation

The incident drew swift condemnation from international organizations. The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly condemned the attack, emphasizing the hospital’s operational status and the presence of patients, healthcare providers, and internally displaced people within its premises. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) described the bombing as a massacre and deemed it unacceptable.

As the death toll continues to rise, this tragedy has left a lasting scar on the Gaza Strip. The United Nations reports that more than one million Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes, approximately half of Gaza’s population. Over 400,000 displaced people are now packed into schools and other facilities in the southern part of the territory. The UN’s Relief Works Agency struggles to provide even one liter of water daily for its remaining staff in Gaza, underscoring the dire humanitarian crisis.

Efforts are underway to address the immediate and long-term. 

The consequences of this tragedy and the impact on the people of Gaza are profound and enduring.

Alok Verma

Alok Verma is an accomplished International Reporter at IndiaFocus with a deep-seated passion for global affairs and cross-border stories. With an impressive track record in international journalism, Alok is dedicated… More »

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