A strike on a Gaza hospital compound which health officials there said killed hundreds of people has provoked outrage and condemnation from around the world.
Issued on: 18/10/2023 – 07:16
Here are some of the major reactions:
The African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat accused Israel of a “war crime” following the deadly strike.
“There are no words to fully express our condemnation of Israel’s bombing of a Gaza hospital today, killing hundreds of people,” Faki said on X, formerly Twitter, calling for the international community to act.
EU chief Charles Michel said that targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza breaks international law.
“An attack against a civilian infrastructure is not in line with international law,” Michel said after a videoconference of EU leaders.
EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell later wrote on social media that “the news coming from the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist hospital in Gaza add horror to the tragedy unfolding before our eyes since days.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said “nothing can justify targeting civilians” after a deadly strike on a Gaza hospital and called for humanitarian access to the coastal strip “without delay”.
“Nothing can justify a strike against a hospital. Nothing can justify targeting civilians. France condemns the attack on the Al-Ahli Arabi hospital in Gaza which caused so many Palestinian victims. We think of them,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“Humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip must be opened without delay.”
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement on Tuesday called for a “day of rage” to condemn a strike on a Gaza Strip hospital, blaming Israel for what it called a “massacre”.
“Let tomorrow, Wednesday, be a day of rage against the enemy,” Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas militants who are at war with Israel, said in a statement, calling the strike a “massacre” and “brutal crime”.
Israel’s army blamed a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based militant group.
Israel bears “responsibility for this grave incident,” a Jordanian foreign ministry statement said, “strongly condemning” the incident.
Amman subsequently announced the cancellation of a summit on brokering peace in the region due to involve US President Joe Biden, who postponed his trip to Amman in response.
Dozens of protesters attempted unsuccessfully to storm the Israeli embassy compound in Amman an AFP journalist said.
Qatar’s foreign ministry called the attack a “a brutal massacre” and “a heinous crime against defenceless civilians”.
In a statement the Gulf state called the attack on Ahli Arab Hospital a “blatant violation of the provisions of international law” and a “dangerous escalation in the course of the confrontations”.
Hundreds of angry protesters gathered outside the French embassy in Tunisia on Tuesday, also denouncing the US, after the hospital strike.
“The French and Americans are allies of Zionists,” demonstrators shouted, according to an AFP journalist.
Protesters demanded the recall of both countries’ ambassadors and shouted: “No American embassy on Tunisian territory.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the incident as “the latest example of Israeli attacks devoid of the most basic human values”, in a message on social media.
“I invite all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza,” Erdogan said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
The UN human rights chief Volker Turk called the hospital strike totally unacceptable, insisting that the perpetrators must be held to account.
“Words fail me. Tonight, hundreds of people were killed — horrifically — in a massive strike at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, including patients, healthcare workers and families that had been seeking refuge in and around the hospital,” he said.
“Once again the most vulnerable. This is totally unacceptable.”
Russia and the United Arab Emirates called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held on Wednesday following the deadly strike.
The World Health Organization condemned the deadly strike and demanded the immediate protection of civilians and health care in the strip.
“WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital,” the UN health agency said in a statement.
“The hospital was operational, with patients, health- and care-givers, and internally-displaced people sheltering there. Early reports indicate hundreds of fatalities and injuries.”