Explosion Rocks Hospital in Gaza

Explosion Rocks Hospital in Israel

(RepublicanPress.org) – The bloodshed of civilians shows no signs of waning as the Israel-Hamas War enters its third week. News reports recently erupted in the wake of a hospital exploding. Here’s what we know so far.

On Tuesday, October 17, the news cycle erupted with reports about a blast at the Gaza City’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital (المستشفى الأهلي العربي). Media outlets initially reported that hundreds of individuals sheltering at the medical facility perished in the explosion. However, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs later claimed the death toll was much lower, at only “several dozen.”

In a Wednesday report, the New York Times cited Amir Ahmed, a Palestinian Red Crescent paramedic. He said officials hadn’t “collected” all the bodies from the blast site. “There [were] too many,” he said.

Ahmed said at the time that the local authorities would likely bury the bodies in a mass grave. He also noted that there was a chance they would number the body bags instead of labeling them with the deceased’s names due to several of the victim’s dismemberment.

President Joe Biden released a statement on the horrific incident. He expressed his outrage at the “terrible loss of life.” He explained that he directed his national security team to “continue gathering information” about the explosion. The president also affirmed that the US “stands unequivocally” for the protection of civilians during military conflicts.

Likewise, the World Health Organization issued a press release “strongly” condemning the attack. The international group called for the “immediate active protection” of healthcare facilities and civilian lives, noting that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of medical facilities.

Initial news reports presented contradictory information regarding the source of the explosion. For example, The New York Times drew heavy criticism for its evolving headlines, starting with one blaming Israel for the alleged “strike.” Later reports indicated that a misfired rocket launched by Hamas caused the deadly explosion. In addition, Lior Haiat from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on X accused news outlets of being irresponsible by posting misleading information about the incident. He called the incident a “Palestinian tragedy” and said that terrorists were killing their own people after using them as “human shields.” He proceeded to state that dozens of people were killed, not nearly 500 as originally claimed.

President Joe Biden traveled to Israel on Wednesday and told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it appeared the blast “was done by the other team, not you,” during a joint press conference. He later told reporters he based that assertion on “data” presented to him by Defense Department officials.

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