Abed Khaled Associated Press Palestinians on Tuesday in front of the Ahli Arab hospital, located in downtown Gaza
Several hundred people were killed Tuesday in a strike on the grounds of a hospital in Gaza. If Hamas attributes this shooting to Israel, the Jewish state's army instead claims that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is responsible.
On the eleventh day of the war triggered by the Hamas attack on October 7, “at least 500 people” died “in a bombing that hit the Ahli Arab hospital compound,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Defense. Health of the Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas. “Hundreds of victims are still in the rubble” of the establishment located in the city center, he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, attributed Tuesday's shooting Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another armed organization present in the Gaza Strip. “Let the whole world know: the barbaric terrorists in Gaza are the ones who attacked the hospital in Gaza and not the Israeli army. »
At the time of the shooting, “a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing very close to the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza,” said the army of the Jewish state, suggesting that one of they came across the establishment.
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Tuesday's bombing sparked strong international protests on the eve of a visit to Israel by American President Joe Biden. The latter expressed “his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the explosion of a hospital in Gaza” and wishes “a speedy recovery to the injured”, declared the White House.
“An attack against civilian infrastructure does not respect international law,” responded the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said the strike was “totally unacceptable.” “Words fail me. Last night, hundreds of people were killed, in horrific fashion, in the hospital attack […], including patients, caregivers and families who had taken refuge in and around the hospital. hospital,” he said in a statement.
The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, for his part denounced a “massacre,” declaring three days of national mourning .
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned this strike. “The news coming out of Gaza today is devastating. It's horrible. This is unacceptable. Canada expects that international humanitarian law will always be respected,” he said in Ottawa on Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on the social network X that “nothing can justify targeting civilians.” “All the light must be shed,” he added, also calling for the opening “without delay” of access to the Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid.
The World Health Organization also “strongly condemned” the raid on the hospital, described as a “war crime” by the Arab League. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his part, called for “an end to this unprecedented violence in Gaza.”
In a written statement, the organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said to be “horrified” by this bombing of a hospital. “We were operating in the hospital, there was a loud explosion and the ceiling of the operating room fell. It’s a massacre,” said Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, MSF doctor in Gaza.
This strike on a hospital took place on the eve of Joe Biden's arrival in Israel, to demonstrate his “solidarity” with Israel, but also to negotiate a humanitarian measure for the Gaza Strip and try to prevent a regional escalation.
Mr. Biden hopes to “hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and allows the delivery of humanitarian aid […] in a way that does not benefit Hamas,” explained Biden. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday.
Since the start of the war, the Israeli army has bombarded the Gaza Strip daily in response to the Hamas attack on October 7, vowing to eliminate the Palestinian movement. These strikes caused the displacement of a million people according to the UN, many of whom found refuge in hospitals.
In Gaza, Israeli bombings have already killed more than 3,000 people. The victims are mostly civilians, including hundreds of children, according to local authorities.
On the Israeli side, more than 1,400 people have been killed since the start of the war, most of them civilians on the day of the Hamas attack, which also took 199 people hostage according to the Israeli army.
The continuation of the war raises fears of a spread of hostilities. In Jordan, protesters attempted to enter the Israeli embassy in Amman.
In the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 by Israel, clashes broke out Tuesday evening between protesters calling for the departure of President Abbas and his security forces in Ramallah. At least 61 Palestinians have been killed in violence in the West Bank since October 7, according to local authorities.
As the Jewish state's army has deployed tens of thousands of troops around the territory Palestinian and to the north along the border with Lebanon, nearly 500,000 Israeli civilians were also evacuated to keep them away from the combat zones, according to local authorities.
Israel also announced that it had recovered the bodies of 1,500 Hamas fighters after their incursion. Hamas confirmed Tuesday the death of one of its commanders, Ayman Nofal, in a raid, Israel having already claimed to have killed four in strikes.
2,000 American soldiers on alert
The United States said Tuesday that 2,000 American troops had been placed on alert for possible deployment in the region.
In Gaza, the Israeli army “will begin its reinforced military activities when the moment is right”, declared its spokesperson, Jonathan Conricus.
Such an operation promises to be perilous in this very densely populated area, while the north of the territory is riddled with tunnels where Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, the European Union and Israel, hides fighters and weapons.
With Sandrine Vieira and Agence France-Presse< /i>