While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea of a humanitarian pause without the release of the hostages, the strikes intensify on the Gaza Strip and no longer spare health personnel: the Israeli army admitted to having struck an ambulance in front of the main hospital in Gaza, al-Chifa, because the vehicle was transporting , according to her, members of Hamas.
An explanation denied by the Palestinian Islamist movement, clified as a “terrorist organization” by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Israel’s claims “about the presence of fighters inside the targeted ambulances are false, and they are new lies added to the constant lies (…) used to justify its crimes”, Hamas denied in a press release published on Telegram.
According to the Hamas Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Red Crescent, the strike left 15 dead and 60 injured, including civilians in front of the hospital entrance. They claimed the ambulance was part of a convoy transporting several injured people to Egypt.
An injured doctor
“The convoy consisted of five ambulances,” including one from the Hamas Ministry of Health and one from the Red Crescent, the NGO said in a statement. According to him, the bombing occurred two meters from the entrance to al-Chifa hospital. An AFP correspondent saw several bodies and injured people next to a damaged ambulance. A second ambulance was targeted “about a kilometer from the hospital” and injuries were noted, added the humanitarian organization.
A doctor was slightly injured by shrapnel in one leg. The Red Crescent recalled that “the deliberate targeting of medical teams constitutes a serious violation of the Geneva Convention.
WHO chief ‘deeply shocked’
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is “deeply shocked”. He recalled that “patients, caregivers, establishments and ambulances must be protected at all times “. The UN chief also said he was “horrified” by the strike, adding that the conflict between Israel and Hamas had to “stop”. “The images of bodies scattered in the street in front of the hospital are heartbreaking,” lamented Antonio Guterres in a statement.
The UN humanitarian coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lynn Hastings, said she was “alarmed” because the strike targeted “patients who were going to be evacuated to be safe”.
Another strike “targeting” a school transformed into a makeshift camp for displaced people in the northern Gaza Strip killed 20 people and injured dozens more, according to the Hamas health ministry.