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06 December, 2023
 
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Unmasking the mystery of the Al-Ahli hospital attack in Gaza

The aftermath of Al-Ahli hospital

Pavlos Xanthoulis

Pavlos Xanthoulis

"Who is Responsible for the Attack on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza?

The recent attack on Al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip has left many questions surrounding its origins. Was it a mere "mistake," or a calculated strike intended to escalate the situation in the Middle East conflict?

Several parties have weighed in on the matter. Muslim countries and Turkey have pointed fingers at Israel as the responsible party, triggering a wave of unprecedented reactions.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden attributed the attack to Palestinian Jihad. Israel's military leadership referred to footage from Al Jazeera, claiming that a flash captured in the video was from a faulty rocket fired by the jihadist group. They argued that it was not aimed at Israel but ended up in the hospital yard in Gaza.

However, Al Jazeera disputed this, suggesting that the flash resulted from the activation of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system during an interception attempt.

Simultaneously, Israel released a conversation they claimed to have intercepted, in which a Hamas member reportedly informed another that the explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital was due to a jihadi error.

Yet, the authenticity of this conversation remains uncertain. The responsibility for the incident, whether it lies with Tel Aviv or Jihad, remains a topic of debate. Discrepancies extend to the number of casualties as well.

Palestinians reported 471 deaths, while an official from E security services, according to AFP, stated the number did not exceed 50. E.E.'s security services rely on information from other states and lack autonomous verification capabilities.

Amidst these conflicting claims, as of the time this was written last Friday, we can assert with certainty that there was an explosion in Al-Ahli Hospital's courtyard, resulting in the loss of many lives among those seeking refuge there. However, two crucial factors hinder a comprehensive understanding:

- There has been no independent autopsy conducted in the hospital's courtyard or at the small crater that was discovered.
- Not a single fragment of the rocket or explosive device has been presented.

At this point, the focus should shift beyond identifying the perpetrator, as the consequences of the Al-Ahli explosion lead to significant conclusions:

- Rather than quelling the atmosphere of war, the incident intensified the volatile climate, making any peace prospects seem distant.
- It galvanized the Muslim world, generating anti-Israel and anti-US sentiments, not only in Arab countries and Turkey but also in Europe, reviving concerns of terrorism.
- The United States, faced with a delicate situation, pledged substantial financial support to Israel (and Ukraine) and labeled Hamas and Putin as dual threats.
- In the wake of the Al-Ahli incident, Arab countries are distancing themselves further from the US. Jordan even postponed a planned four-party conference involving President Biden, fearing the current unrest in the Muslim world would jeopardize their internal stability and legal order.

In summary, the Middle East resembles a pressure cooker on the verge of eruption. According to a source close to the developments, "some are unable, and some are unwilling, to turn down the heat and extinguish the flames."

Note: Given the sensitive nature of the topic and foreign policy implications for E.E., discussions about this situation should be approached with caution.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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Cyprus  |  EU  |  Israel  |  war

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