Palestinian officials have called on the nations of the world to step in and prevent the “deliberate genocide” of their people by Israel after hundreds were killed in the bombing of a hospital in Gaza.
Israeli officials blamed the blast on an errant rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad militant group. However, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on X (formerly Twitter) that Israeli forces struck a “Hamas terrorist base” hidden inside the hospital before deleting the tweet shortly afterward and posting another update blaming Hamas.
“The hospital massacre cannot be tolerated by sensibility or the morals of nations, and what is taking place is genocide,” Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, wrote on social media on Tuesday.
“We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this massacre,” he continued. “Silence and bias are no longer acceptable.”
The Christian-run Al-Ahli Hospital was destroyed in an apparent missile strike on Tuesday, killing almost 500 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The bombing took place amid continuous Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, and Palestinian officials blamed Israel for targeting the facility.
“The effects of the massacre are beyond description,” Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a statement on social media on Tuesday. “The occupation broke all humanitarian norms, charters and laws, and they killed patients and citizens who were safe from its bombing everywhere in the Gaza Strip.”
In an appeal directed at the “countries of the world” and the UN, al-Kaila pleaded for someone to “save our people from this deliberate genocide.”
Israeli warplanes began striking Gaza more than a week ago in retaliation for a Hamas assault on Israel that left at least 1,300 Israelis dead, 4,500 wounded, and more than 150 taken as hostages by the militant group, according to Israeli military figures. In the same period, Israeli airstrikes killed 3,300 people and wounded 13,000 others, according to the latest figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The Al-Ahli Hospital was located in Gaza City in the north of the Palestinian enclave. Israeli authorities ordered the evacuation of the city last week, warning that anyone who refused to move south would not be safe from airstrikes. The World Health Organization called this order a “death sentence for the sick and injured,” who were unable to leave hospitals in the city.
The bombing was vehemently condemned throughout the Muslim world, where it triggered protests and riots in several countries. US President Joe Biden has taken Israel’s side, telling Netanyahu on Wednesday that “it was done by the other team, and not you.” Russian President Vladimir Putin described the bombing as a humanitarian “catastrophe” and “a signal that this conflict should end as soon as possible.”