A rocket attack has hit Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, the only Christian health center in the Gaza Strip, hard. The international community expressed shock at the event in which, according to UN human rights chief Volker Türk, hundreds lost their lives on Tuesday evening. The perpetrators of the attack have not yet been identified.
UN human rights chief calls for end to violence
Volker Türk expressed his deep dismay that night. He reported on patients, staff and families who sought refuge in the hospital during the attack and tragically died. He stressed that such attacks are unacceptable and hospitals must remain safe places. Türk called for an immediate end to this violence.
More attacks on civilians
On the same day, at least six people were killed in an attack on a UNRWA school in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, according to Türk. This school provided shelter for around 4,000 people. Türk called on the international community to take action to stop the escalating violence. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack.
Reactions from the Anglican Communion
Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Communion, said he was saddened by the tragic events and called for the protection of civilians. He emphasized his deep sadness and asked the community for prayers for those affected.
Uncertainty about authorship
The Haaretz newspaper, citing Hamas and the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, Husam Elias Naoum, reported that Israel was responsible for the airstrike. Israel, however, denied these allegations, saying it was a rocket accidentally fired by the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. Amid these tensions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of national mourning.
Previous attacks on the hospital
Even before this devastating attack, Al-Ahli Arab Hospital was damaged in another airstrike on Saturday, in which four people were injured. The hospital’s director, Suhaila Tarazi, in an earlier conversation, emphasized the facility’s Christian values and the fact that the majority of staff and patients are Muslims, who are treated in the spirit of equality.