18 October 2023// Reuters
WHO BOMBED THE HOSPITAL IN GAZA?
Israelis and Palestinians have blamed each other for the hospital bombing.
Biden, who has stood squarely behind Israel from the start of the conflict, said that based on information he had seen the hospital blast appeared to be the result of an errant rocket fired by a “terrorist group”, echoing Israel’s view.
Some Western countries have called for an investigation, without pointing the finger at this stage, while Arab states have blamed Israel.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE HOSPITAL?
Founded 1882 and run by the Anglican church, Al Ahli Arab Hospital described itself on its website as “a haven of peace in the middle of one of the world’s most troubled places”. The hospital said it offered 80 beds with services such as a free programme to detect breast cancer, a centre for elderly women, and a mobile clinic offering free services to surrounding towns.
It is located in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, in the northern region of the Gaza Strip.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN THE HOSPITAL?
Although it had a limited number of beds, the hospital and others in Gaza have been crammed with casualties beyond their capacity since the start of Israeli air strikes launched in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
As well as handling a surge in the number of wounded, people have also sought refuge in hospital grounds all over Gaza believing them to be safe havens against strikes.
Dr Fadel Naim, head of orthopaedic surgery, said about 1,000 people were in Al Ahli Arab Hospital on Tuesday morning and more rushed there later in the day after he said the Israeli army had warned residents in the Zeitoun neighbourhood to evacuate their homes.
Dr Ibrahim Al-Naqa said more than 3,000 people had sought refuge at the hospital at the time of the strike.