US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was “outraged” by the explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed about 500 people and said he had directed his national security team to gather information about exactly what had happened.
“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted,” Biden, who is traveling to Israel, said in a statement.
“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said a reported Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza was “horrific and absolutely unacceptable.”
Trudeau made his remarks when asked about the strike, which health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave said had killed hundreds of people.
Canada has stressed that Israel must abide by international law as it strikes back against Hamas over attacks that killed more than 1,300 people.
“The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable … international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases. There are rules around wars and it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital,” Trudeau told reporters.
Israel’s military said it did not have any details on the reported bombing.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah denounced what the group said was Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza hospital and called for “a day of unprecedented anger” on Wednesday, as protests erupted outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut just hours after the incident.
Iran-backed Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006, made the call for the day pf protest in Beirut in a statement late on Tuesday, after Palestinian officials said hundreds of people were killed in the strike on the hospital.
Israel’s military denied responsibility for the bombing, saying military intelligence suggested the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the enclave’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad military group.
Islamic Jihad denied that any of its rockets were involved in the hospital blast.
Hundreds of Lebanese protesters, some waving Palestinian flags, gathered late into Tuesday night outside the U.S. embassy in response to the incident. Others gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut.
Tear gas was fired at protesters near the U.S. embassy in Lebanon.
In denouncing what the group said was a strike by Israel, Hezbollah said in its statement: “The attack reveals the true criminal face of this entity and its sponsor … the United States, which bears direct and complete responsibility for this massacre.”
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION
“WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip. The hospital was operational, with patients, health and care givers, and internally displaced people sheltering there. Early reports indicate hundreds of fatalities and injuries.
“The hospital was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military. The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced.
“WHO calls for the immediate active protection of civilians and health care. Evacuation orders must be reversed. International humanitarian law must be abided by, which means health care must be actively protected and never targeted.
PALESTINIAN HAMAS LEADER ISMAIL HANIYEHI
“The hospital massacre confirms the enemy’s brutality and the extent of his feeling of defeat,” he said, adding that the attack will be “a new turning point.”
ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
“The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza, and not the IDF. Those who brutally murdered our children also murder their own children.”
ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESMAN
“An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.
“Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza.”
“Syria holds Western countries responsible especially the United States of America, for this massacre and others, since they are a partner of the Zionist entity across all organized operations designed to kill Palestinians.”
TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN
“I call on all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza.”