Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Israeli airstrike on Gaza hospital that killed hundreds

People stand over bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, on October 17, 2023. (AFP)
People stand over bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, on October 17, 2023. (AFP)
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Updated 18 October 2023
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Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Israeli airstrike on Gaza hospital that killed hundreds

People stand over bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza.
  • Russia’s foreign ministry: Attack was a shocking ‘dehumanizing’ crime
  • King Abdullah calls Gaza hospital bombing a ‘massacre’ and a ‘war crime’ that one cannot be silent about

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday led global condemnations of the Israeli airstrike on a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds.

The Kingdom condemned in the “strongest terms” an Israeli air strike that killed about 500 Palestinians at a Gaza City hospital crammed with patients and displaced people on Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia categorically rejects this brutal attack, which is a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms, including international humanitarian law,” the foreign ministry said. 

The ministry also denounced Israel for its “continuous attacks against civilians despite many international appeals” to stop.

“This dangerous development forces the international community to abandon double standards and selectivity in applying international humanitarian law when it comes to Israeli criminal practices. It requires a serious and firm stance to provide protection for defenseless civilians,” a ministry statement said. 

The Kingdom also stressed the necessity of opening safe corridors immediately to deliver food and medicine to civilians trapped in Gaza, and said it holds Israeli forces fully responsible for their continued violation of all international norms and laws.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the strike on the hospital in Gaza was a shocking crime, adding that Israel should provide satellite images to prove that it was not involved in the attack.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Radio Sputnik that the attack was a shocking “dehumanizing” crime.

Here are some of the other global reactions to the brutal strike:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a statement on Tuesday, saying: “I condemn in the strongest of terms Israel’s bombardment” on a hospital in Gaza, and calling it a “clear violation of intl law.”

Palestinian health authorities said the deaths at the hospital in Gaza were caused by an Israeli air strike, but the Israeli military blamed a failed rocket launch by a Palestinian militant group

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday “nothing can justify targeting civilians” after the 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.

“Humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip must be opened without delay.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “horrified” by the deadly strike on a hospital in Gaza, he said in a social media post Tuesday.

“My heart is with the families of the victims. Hospitals and medical personnel are protected under international humanitarian law,” Guterres said in the message on X.

The UAE strongly condemned the Israeli attack in a foreign ministry statement saying it “expresses its deep regret for the loss of life and conveys its condolences to the families of the victims, wishing a swift recovery for all those injured.”

It stressed “the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and to ensure that civilians and civilian institutions are not targeted.” 

The UAE called on the international community to intensify efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of life.

Kuwait on Tuesday “strongly condemned and denounced the Israeli occupation forces' barbaric airstrike on the Baptist Al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of innocent civilians were killed,” the state news agency said.

“The occupation forces targeting of hospitals and public facilities is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law,” a statement by the foreign ministry said.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also denounced the attack.

OIC chief Hissein Taha considered the attack a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity,” the OIC said on X.

Taha held the Israeli occupation accountable for its crimes, terrorist practices, and brutal attacks against the Palestinian people, which contradict all human values and constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

The Muslim World League condemned “in the strongest terms” the attack.

MWL chief Sheikh Abdulkarim Al-Issa denounced in a statement this “brutal crime that devoids its perpetrators of all religious and human values, calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards protecting civilians from these horrific massacres.” 

Qatar’s foreign ministry also issued a statement in which it strongly condemned the Israeli airstrike saying, “the expansion of Israeli attacks over the Gaza Strip to include hospitals, schools, and other population centers is a dangerous escalation.”

Jordan’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Tuesday strongly condemning the Israeli attack. King Abdullah said Israel’s bombing of the Gaza hospital was a “massacre” and a “war crime” that one cannot be silent about. 

Meanwhile, Turkiye’s foreign ministry condemned in the strongest terms Israel’s “barbaric attack” on the Gaza hospital.

“We are deeply indignant that hundreds of Palestinians lost their lives and many more were injured as a result of the targeting of a hospital in Gaza today, and we condemn these barbaric attacks in the strongest terms,” the Turkish statement said.

EU chief Charles Michel said targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza breaks international law after a deadly strike on a hospital.

“We got this information when we were together during this virtual meeting with the leaders. It seems to be to be confirmed and an attack against a civilian infrastructure is not in line with international law,” Michel said after a videoconference of EU leaders.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Israeli strike on the hospital in Gaza was “horrific and absolutely unacceptable.”

Trudeau told reporters that “it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital.”

The World Health Organization condemned the deadly Tuesday strike and demanded the immediate protection of civilians and health care in the Palestinian enclave.

“WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital,” the UN health agency’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

The health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said Israeli air strikes on the hospital compound sheltering displaced people had killed over 200 people.

“Early reports indicate hundreds of deaths and injuries,” said Tedros.

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

Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the Israeli air strike, saying it had killed and injured hundreds of “unarmed and defenceless people.”

* With AP, AFP and Reuters


Gaza civil defense says 15 killed in Israel strike on Gaza school

Gaza civil defense says 15 killed in Israel strike on Gaza school
Updated 15 July 2024
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Gaza civil defense says 15 killed in Israel strike on Gaza school

Gaza civil defense says 15 killed in Israel strike on Gaza school
  • The Abu Araban school was housing “thousands of displaced people,” civil defense agency spokesman Mahmud Bassal told AFP, adding that most of the dead were women and children

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: The civil defense agency in Hamas-run Gaza said Sunday that 15 people were killed in a strike on a school sheltering war displaced where the Israeli military said it had targeted “terrorists.”
The strike on the UN-run Abu Araban site in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp was the fifth on a school-turned-shelter in eight days.
The Abu Araban school was housing “thousands of displaced people,” civil defense agency spokesman Mahmud Bassal told AFP, adding that most of the dead were women and children.
Schools in Nuseirat were the target for two of the earlier school strikes as Israel keeps up its offensive against Hamas Palestinian militants who triggered the war with their October 7 attack on Israel.
The Israeli military said its air force “struck a number of terrorists who were operating in the area of UNRWA’s Abu Araban school building in Nuseirat.”
It said the building had “served as a hideout” and base for “attacks” on Israeli troops.
AFPTV images showed the three-story complex standing, with clothes and bedding airing out over its railings. A wall bearing the UN logo had been blown out, and rooms inside were damaged.
On July 6, Israeli aircraft hit Al-Jawni school, also run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), in Nuseirat. UNRWA said about 2,000 people were sheltering there at the time.
The following day, four people died in a strike on the church-run Holy Family school in Gaza City, in the territory’s north, according to the Civil Defense agency.
On Monday, Israel hit another Nuseirat school, again saying it was targeting “terrorists.”
The next day, a hospital source said at least 29 people died in a strike at the entrance to Al-Awda school in the Khan Yunis area, southern Gaza.
Israel says Hamas uses schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure for military purposes. Hamas denies the accusation.
France and Germany on Wednesday called for an investigation into the school strikes.
After the Al-Jawni strike, UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma told AFP that when the war began “we closed the schools and they became shelters.”
UNRWA is the main relief agency in Gaza but more than half, or 190, of its facilities have been hit — “some more than once” — in the military response to the October 7 Hamas attacks, she said.
 

 


As war rages, Palestinian culture stifled in Israel

As war rages, Palestinian culture stifled in Israel
Updated 14 July 2024
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As war rages, Palestinian culture stifled in Israel

As war rages, Palestinian culture stifled in Israel
  • About 20 percent of Israel’s 9.5 million inhabitants are Arab, and many of them identify as Palestinian

TEL AVIV: Comedian Ayman Nahas said he has kept a “low profile” since Oct. 7, fearing reprisals as an Arab artist in Israel while the country wages war in the Gaza Strip.
He is one of many Arab artists in Israel or annexed East Jerusalem who describe facing increasing hostility and harassment and fearing looming funding cuts or arrests.
“You never know where your place is, and that is not the right atmosphere to perform,” said Nahas, the artistic director at the Arabic-language Sard theater in Haifa, in Israel’s north.
He said that his theater depends on government subsidies “like 99 percent of cultural spaces” in Israel.
But he fears the money could be cut, as happened in 2015 to Al-Midan, another theater in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Haifa, after it put on a play inspired by the story of a prisoner jailed by Israel over an attack on troops.
One 25-year-old performer, who asked to use the pseudonym Elias to avoid a backlash, said he has put acting aside and became a swimming pool attendant because he was fed up with only getting stereotyped roles.
Other Arab actors say that since the war, they can no longer find work in Israel. Elias has finally found a role in Berlin.
“I have had to go into exile to practice my art,” he said in a Tel Aviv cafe.
“I don’t wear my ‘Free Palestine’ bracelet anymore, and I take care of what I put on social media. I have friends who the police have visited.”
Nonprofit group Mossawa has documented an increase in human rights violations against Israel’s Arab minority since October, including arrests, discrimination at work, and harassment at schools, as well as curbs on the right to protest.
Singer Dalal Abu Amneh, who is also a neuroscientist, was detained for 48 hours for a social media post after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack that said “the only victor is God.”
Abu Amneh later said she had been harassed in her Jewish-majority hometown of Afula in northern Israel. Her lawyer said she had received hundreds of “death threats.”
About 20 percent of Israel’s 9.5 million inhabitants are Arab, and many of them identify as Palestinian.
They say they are frequently the targets of discrimination by the Jewish majority, and those complaints have grown through more than nine months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Huda Imam, who promotes Palestinian cultural sites in Jerusalem, said that “a cultural silence has taken hold since Oct. 7.”
“There has been a shock, an inability to produce out of fear and respect” for the war’s victims, she added.
“There was a Palestinian cultural life before the war, especially in east Jerusalem,” Imam said, referring to the sector Israel captured in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognized by most of the international community.
“Now people don’t go out.”
And it is primarily exiles “who give a voice to Palestine,” said Imam, highlighting the rapper Saint Levant, who played at the Coachella music festival in the US in April, and the European-based singer and flute player Nai Barghouti.
Palestinians still express themselves through their “living heritage, like drinking coffee or dancing dabkeh,” a traditional dance, said artist Hani Amra.
Some artists wondered about the relevance of their work now.
“You turn on the television, and you see the war live. The reality is more powerful than any artistic work,” Amer Khalil, the director of east Jerusalem’s Al-Hakawati, also known as the Palestinian National Theater.
The theater, founded in 1984, “has been closed more than 200 times in 40 years” and is again in the crosshairs of Israeli authorities, said Khalil.
“Running a theater is always difficult, but after Oct. 7 things became even more complicated,” he said, adding that Al-Hakawati was preparing a play about that day.
“It is a game, like censorship. It comes and goes.”

 


UAE delivers medical aid to Gaza after Israeli attack on refugee camps

UAE delivers medical aid to Gaza after Israeli attack on refugee camps
Updated 14 July 2024
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UAE delivers medical aid to Gaza after Israeli attack on refugee camps

UAE delivers medical aid to Gaza after Israeli attack on refugee camps
  • The initiative follows Israel’s targeting of displaced Palestinians at camps in Khan Younis on Saturday
  • The aid includes supplies for hospitals facing shortages, medicines for various injuries and insulin

DUBAI: The UAE delivered three tonnes of medical supplies and a range of medicines to support the healthcare sector and hospitals still operating in the Gaza Strip, the UAE state news agency reported on Sunday.

The initiative follows Israel’s targeting of displaced Palestinians at camps in Khan Younis on Saturday.

The medical aid includes medical supplies for hospitals facing shortages, medicines for various injuries, insulin for diabetic patients, and other solutions to bolster the healthcare sector during the crisis.

The UAE on Sunday condemned Israel’s attack on refugee camps in Khan Younis, which claimed the lives of 100 people.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday expressed its strongest condemnation and denunciation of what it termed “continued genocidal massacres against the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli war machine.”


Kuwait says government spending must be fixed to control budget growth

Kuwait says government spending must be fixed to control budget growth
Updated 14 July 2024
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Kuwait says government spending must be fixed to control budget growth

Kuwait says government spending must be fixed to control budget growth
  • Its statement added expenses were estimated at 24.5 billion dinars and revenues at 18.9 billion dinars

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait's budget is projected to show a deficit of 5.6 billion dinars ($18.33 billion) for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the Kuwait News Agency reported on Sunday citing the Ministry of Finance. 

Its statement added expenses were estimated at 24.5 billion dinars and revenues at 18.9 billion dinars.

Government spending must be fixed at 24.5 billion Kuwaiti dinars in the 2027-2028 budget to control budget growth, the ministry also said.

The liquidity of the General Reserve Fund, from which the budget deficit is financed, decreased to 2 billion dinars last March from 33.6 billion ten years ago due to increasing withdrawals, it added.


Egypt condemns Israeli airstrikes on Al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis

Egypt condemns Israeli airstrikes on Al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis
Updated 14 July 2024
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Egypt condemns Israeli airstrikes on Al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis

Egypt condemns Israeli airstrikes on Al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis
  • Egypt called on Israel to cease its disregard for the lives of unarmed civilians and to adhere to international humanitarian law

CAIRO: Egypt has condemned the Israeli airstrikes on the Al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The deaths in Al-Mawasi, an Israeli-designated “safe zone” where aid groups said hundreds of thousands of people were sheltering, drew condemnation from governments across the region.

The Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said at least 92 people had been killed, more than half of them women and children, and 300 wounded in Saturday’s strike

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates, Egypt condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli bombing of Al-Mawasi, which is crowded with displaced people, resulting in the death and injury of dozens of innocent Palestinian civilians.

Egypt called on Israel to cease its disregard for the lives of unarmed civilians and to adhere to international humanitarian law.

It also stressed that such crimes would not be subject to a statute of limitations and could not be justified under any pretext.

Egypt emphasized that these continuous violations against Palestinian civilians add serious complications to the current efforts aimed at reaching de-escalation and a ceasefire and exacerbate their suffering amid disgraceful international silence and inaction.