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12° Nicosia,
14 June, 2024
 
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Hospital attack claims hundreds of lives in Gaza

Gaza hospital horror unleashes outrage

By Athena Papakosta

Hundreds of lives were lost or forever altered following an attack on central Gaza and the Al-Ahli Hospital. The hospital was filled with patients, wounded individuals, and civilians seeking shelter from the ongoing shelling. Palestinians attribute this devastating incident to the Israeli military, while Israel denies responsibility, claiming it resulted from a 'failed blow' by Islamic Jihad.

This heart-wrenching event occurred on the 12th day of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, coinciding with the arrival of the U.S. President in Israel, adding further complexity to the situation in the Middle East.

Reactions across the Arab world have been intense. Jordan canceled a crucial four-party summit that included U.S. President Joe Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

Egypt's president condemned the attack, labeling it a 'clear violation of international law.' Iran attributed blame to Israel, emphasizing that 'unarmed and defenseless people were killed and wounded.' Syria described it as 'one of the most heinous and bloodiest massacres against humanity,' while Saudi Arabia called it a 'heinous crime,' Jordan's King Abdullah labeled it a 'war crime,' and Qatar referred to it as a 'dangerous escalation.'

The President of the Palestinian Authority is returning to the West Bank, where protests and incidents have erupted. He declared three days of national mourning, denouncing it as a 'revolting war massacre.' Protests have also emerged outside Israel's embassy in Jordan and elsewhere.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan directly blamed Israel, asserting that 'the attack on a hospital where women, children, and innocent civilians were present is the latest example of Israel's attacks, far removed from basic human values.' He called on 'all of humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented barbarity in Gaza.'

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, placed blame on the United States, accusing Washington of providing 'cover for its aggression.' He urged all Palestinian people to 'come out and confront the occupation and the settlers.'

The President of the United States arrived in Tel Aviv early in the morning, where he is scheduled to meet with the country's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. However, his trip to Jordan has been canceled.

The President had conversations with both Jordan's King Abdullah and Israel's Prime Minister, expressing strong support for the protection of civilians in conflict and mourning the loss of patients, medical personnel, and other innocent individuals in this tragedy.

European Council President Charles Michel, concluding an informal European Council meeting on the Middle East situation, stated, 'An attack on civilian infrastructure is not in line with international law.'

These tragic events unfolded as Washington sought to persuade Israel to allow the delivery of supplies to desperate civilians, aid groups, and besieged hospitals in Gaza.

Images from the Al-Ahli Hospital, owned by the Anglican Church, are deeply distressing. The facility was engulfed in fire, with bodies, including those of small children, strewn about. Surrounding them were blankets, school backpacks, and personal belongings.

Many of the injured are being transported to the overwhelmed Al-Shifa hospital, where doctors are urgently requesting equipment and medicine, and generators are operating on limited fuel supplies.

The scale of death and injury is staggering, with many individuals reportedly trapped under the rubble. The outpouring of anger in the Arab world is profound, underscoring the ongoing complexity of the conflict and the need for reflection on the path forward.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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Cyprus  |  Gaza  |  bombing  |  hospital

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