A massive explosion ripped through a hospital in Gaza, killing over 500 people and drawing widespread condemnation globally. Israel claimed a rocket launched by Islamic Jihad (a group affiliated with Hamas) misfired and hit the hospital, while Hamas said Israel conducted airstrikes on innocent Gazans.
Irrespective of the claims and counter-claims, it was children and the elderly in a hospital who died in the bombing.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, in a video message, said “I’m horrified to see the bombing of al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and unequivocally condemn it.”
I’m horrified to see the bombing of al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and unequivocally condemn it. I urge the Israeli government to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and reiterate the call for a ceasefire. I am directing $300K to three charities helping Palestinian people under attack. pic.twitter.com/JiIPfnTUvY
— Malala Yousafzai (@Malala) October 17, 2023
“I’m adding my voice to those from Israel, Palestine and those around the world crying out for peace. Collective punishment is not the answer. Half of Gaza’s population is less than 18 years of age and they should not be living the rest of their life under bombing and unjust occupation,” Ms Yousafzai said.
She urged the Israeli government to let humanitarian aid go into Gaza, adding that she would donate $300,000 (Rs 2.5 crore) to three charities helping the people of Palestine in this crisis and urged people to provide aid to such charities.
The Nobel laureate urged governments to work for an immediate ceasefire and enduring peace.
US President Joe Biden, who is visiting Israel, backed the latter’s claim that a rocket launched by Islamic Jihad misfired and hit the hospital, but in the same breath, also condemned the attack and said: “I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “Deeply shocked at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza”, adding, “Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict are a matter of serious and continuing concern. Those involved should be held responsible.”
Russia said that the blast at a Gaza hospital compound that health officials said killed hundreds of people was a “crime” and an “act of dehumanisation”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that the situation in Gaza is spiralling out of control and said, “Every second we wait to get medical aid in, we lose lives.”