UN bodies condemn deadly attack on Gaza hospital

An Israeli airstrike hit the Arab al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, international media reported, citing the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

The details have yet to be verified, but the Israel Defense Forces tweeted that according to their intelligence, rockets fired by Islamic Jihad militants at Israel were to blame after veering off course.

Patients and displaced civilians reportedly sought shelter at the hospital following Israel’s order to evacuate to the south ahead of what is expected to be a ground attack.

WHO strongly condemns the attack,” agency chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We call for immediate protection of civilians and health care and for the evacuation orders to be reversed,” he added.

Evacuation order ‘impossible to carry out’

Al-Ahli Arab Hospital was operational with patients, health and caregivers and internally displaced people housed there, the WHO said in a declaration.

It was one of 20 hospitals in the northern part of the Gaza Strip that faced evacuation orders from the Israeli military.

“The order of evacuation has been impossible to carry out due to the current uncertainty, critical condition of many patients and lack of ambulances, personnel, health system bed capacity and alternative shelter for the displaced,” WHO said.

The UN agency appealed for immediate active protection of civilians and healthcare. “Evacuation orders must be reversed. International humanitarian law must be respected, which means health care must be actively protected and never targeted.”

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also took to social media to condemn the attack.

“Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure must cease and health facilities must never be targeted,” the UN agency for reproductive and sexual health wrote on X.

UNRWA school hit

Earlier Tuesday, the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East, UNRWA, reported it at least six people were killed when one of its schools was hit in the al-Magahazi camp, located in the central Gaza Strip.

Dozens more were injured, including UNRWA staff, and the number is likely to be higher.

“This is outrageous and once again shows a blatant disregard for civilian life. No place is safe anymore in Gaza, not even UNRWA facilities,” the agency’s director-general said in a statement.

At least 4,000 people had sought refuge in the school, which had become a crisis center. “They had and still have nowhere else to go,” UNRWA said.

More to come on this development story…

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