LIVE | Middle East protests Gaza hospital attack and Western double standards

 Almost all Middle Eastern countries registered demonstrations and protests this Wednesday in rejection of the bombing of the Al Ahli Al Meamedany hospital in Gaza, a massacre that they attribute to Israel, in defense of Palestine and to reject the double standards of the West when judging what constitutes war crimes.

The marches, massive in some cases such as in Yemen, Bahrain or Jordan, extended in various cities and with different times in some or spontaneous in others and with a marked character of support for the government as in Egypt, all reflected the same criticism towards both the “criminal” actions of Israel and the absolute protection that both Europe and the US give to the actions of the State of Israel.

Most of them took place without serious incidents, and hardly any incidents were reported in Lebanon when a march tried to break security, without success, around the US embassy on the outskirts of Beirut.

Jordan will see a “declaration of war” if it tries to expel Palestinians from the West Bank

Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, stated that his country will consider any attempt by Israel to “expel the Palestinians from the West Bank” as “a declaration of war.”

“For us in Jordan, any attempt to expel the Palestinians from the West Bank will be seen as a declaration of war,” the head of Jordanian diplomacy said today in a session before the Council of Deputies of the Arab kingdom.

The West Bank is the Palestinian territory closest to Jordan, located on the western bank of the Jordan River and under the control of the Palestinian National Authority. The Gaza Strip, also Palestinian, is located on the shores of the Mediterranean and is controlled by the Islamic group Hamas.

Iran blames the United States for Israeli “crimes” in Gaza

Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdolahian held the United States responsible for the “crimes” committed by Israel in Gaza and called for the creation of an international court to try these crimes.

In a speech given during the extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) taking place in the Saudi city of Jeddah, Abdolahian assured that the US is trying to revive Israel after the attack it suffered on October 7 that caused 1,400 dead.

“The United States of America is trying to revive the Zionist entity today through war against civilians,” the minister said.

“The occupation (in reference to Israel), with American and Western support, commits war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide,” he said.

The head of Iranian diplomacy called for an urgent meeting of the Human Rights Council to support the Palestinian cause and examine the massacres being committed in Gaza.

And he called on Islamic countries to impose a boycott on Israel, with the expulsion of its diplomats and an embargo on the sale of oil due to the war in Palestine, as it did shortly before the meeting.

Islamic Jihad denies rocket fire at Gaza hospital, blames Israel

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group has denied responsibility for the explosion that occurred this Tuesday at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, has rejected the Israeli version that it was the failed launch of one of its rockets that caused hundreds of deaths and has accused Israel of committing “the brutal massacre.” 

The Islamist movement – the second force with the most military potential in Gaza after the Hamas group – assured that Israel “makes up lies” and “is trying to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed by bombing” the medical center compound in the city. from Gaza, where some 2,000 civilians were taking refuge.

“We affirm that the accusations promoted by the enemy (Israel) are false and unfounded, and that YIP, like the rest of the resistance forces in Gaza, does not use places of worship or public facilities, especially hospitals, as military posts to store weapons or launch missiles,” the group said in a statement.

YIP adds that “the presence of reporters, eyewitnesses and videos filmed at the time of the bombing,” as well as “the weight of the warhead, the angle of the bomb’s fall and the magnitude of the destruction” are “documented” evidence. “which confirm” that “it was an aerial bombardment from a fighter plane.” 

Israel denies that the hospital is destroyed or affected

On Tuesday afternoon, a large explosion occurred at the Al Ahli Hospital complex, killing hundreds of men, women, the elderly and children, in what health authorities in Hamas-controlled Gaza said was an Israeli bombing.

Initially they claimed that the incident caused about 200 deaths and later raised the figure to 500 deaths, although now the number is not clear.

Israel has denied today that the massacre took place and has assured that the building is not destroyed, that it has not suffered serious damage and that there was only a minor explosion in the parking lot caused by a failed rocket from the Gazan group Islamic Jihad.

A spokesman for the Israeli Armed Forces held a press conference this Wednesday in which he stated that “the explosion at the Al Ahli hospital was due to an Islamic Jihad rocket, the launch of which failed. They are inflating the victim figures. “There was no direct impact on the hospital.”

According to the Israeli military official, at 6:59 p.m. (local time, 3:59 p.m. GMT) the launch of about 10 Islamic Jihad rockets was observed from a cemetery near the hospital and one of them lost trajectory and fell on the place.

At the press conference, Hagari showed aerial photos of the parking lot taken by an Israeli drone after news of the bombing spread.

The images show a space of about 20 by 40 meters next to the hospital, with around twenty cars parked, several of them burned, but only two or three seriously destroyed.

The spokesman added that the Army has also intercepted conversations between Gaza militiamen who informed each other of the impact, assuring that it was an Islamic Jihad rocket and that the shrapnel found at the site did not correspond to Israeli missile models.

Medical workers transport a person injured in the attack on the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza
Paramedics transport a person injured in the attack on the Gaza hospital. EFE/EPA/Mohammed Saber

Death toll in Gaza rises to 3,200, according to Hamas

The total number of deaths from Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, on October 7, stands at 3,200, according to figures released this Wednesday by the Gaza Ministry of Health, an organization controlled by the organization. Islamist Hamas.

These figures represent an increase of 200 victims compared to those reported yesterday afternoon, before the bombing of the hospital.

The increase of two hundred deaths in 24 hours corresponds to what is usual in recent days and seems to refute the information communicated last night by a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health to EFE, that the bombing of the health center caused 500 deaths.

The information about the attack on the Al Ahli Arab hospital, the responsibility of which neither Israel nor Islamic Jihad claims, has unleashed numerous reactions in the world and adds a new ingredient to the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated today that the bombing of the sanatorium in Gaza is a “catastrophe” and a sign that “the conflict must end as soon as possible.”

“It is a terrible act, a catastrophe. There are hundreds of dead and injured. I trust that it will be a sign that the conflict must end as soon as possible,” the Kremlin head said at a press conference in Beijing.

According to Putin, a supporter of the creation of a Palestinian state, “the matter must be brought to the possibility of starting some contacts or negotiations.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres has also condemned the attack and called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire “to alleviate the human suffering we are witnessing.”

“I am horrified. “Many lives and the fate of the region hang in the balance,” Guterres said this Wednesday during his speech at the international forum being held in Beijing.

Different voices, from the European Council to the World Health Organization (WHO), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and different Governments of the Middle East, North Africa and America have raised their voices to condemn the attack, of which doubts still remain. to resolve.

On behalf of the EU, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, recalled that “an attack against civilians is not in line with international law.”

“Deliberate massacre” for the Arab world

As soon as the news of the attack became known, the Arab world unanimously blamed the Israeli State.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan strongly condemned the attack, accusing Israel of “deliberate bombing” and committing a “heinous massacre.”

For his part, Jordanian King Abdullah II pointed out that the bombing of the hospital is an “atrocious war crime that cannot be tolerated.”

Qatar and Oman went further and called the event an “atrocious massacre” that “foreshadows dire consequences for the stability of the region” and “genocide and war crime,” respectively.

One of the harshest messages came from the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abulgueit, who asked: “What infernal mind attacks a hospital that deliberately houses unarmed people?”

Iran has declared this Wednesday as a day of mourning for “the massacre and war crime against humanity” and has called on Islamic countries to impose a boycott on Israel, with the expulsion of its diplomats and an embargo on the sale of oil for the war in Palestine.

The governments of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have also declared three days of national mourning for what happened and have called on the international community to “stop the Israeli death machine, which targets civilians.”

“Attacking a hospital with women, children and innocent civilians is the latest example of Israel’s attacks lacking the most basic human values,” said the president of Turkey, the conservative Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Demonstrations and attacks on US and Israeli embassies

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah called for this Wednesday to be a day of “unprecedented anger” against Israel and called on the population to take to the streets, considering that “complaints are no longer enough.”

And the political leader of the Islamist movement Hamas, Ismail Haniye, stated that the massacre of at least 500 Palestinians in a Gaza hospital will be “a turning point” in the “Al Aqsa Storm” operation against Israel and urged the Arabs and Muslims to join the protests.

“The resistance continues and will not stop until the occupier abandons our land and our sacred places,” he warned.

Institutions, businesses, schools and companies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem closed today for a general strike against the Israeli bombings of Gaza, while thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to protest.

This morning there have already been several protests and attacks against diplomatic headquarters of Israel and the United States in different parts of the world.

One of the most important demonstrations took place in Istanbul (Turkey), where a crowd carrying pro-Palestinian flags and banners gathered in front of the Israeli consulate and even entered the facilities after breaching a police barricade.

More than 60 people, including 43 police officers, were injured and five were arrested in protests across the country.

Biden cancels his visit to Jordan

Because of this attack, Jordan decided to cancel the quadripartite summit that was scheduled for this Wednesday in Amman, with the participation of the president of the United States, Joe Biden.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who yesterday returned to the West Bank for “an urgent meeting with the Palestinian leadership,” also canceled his participation in the frustrated meeting, according to the official Palestinian agency Wafa.

For his part, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, described the bombing as “unacceptable” and contrary to international laws, without making a direct reference to Israel.

More forceful was the French president, Emmanuel Macron. “Nothing can justify the bombing of a hospital. “Nothing can justify attacking civilians,” said the president, who asked for clarification of who was responsible.

In Latin America, the Government of Venezuela condemned the “massacre carried out by the State of Israel” and called on the international community to “speak out forcefully against the genocide of which the population of Gaza is subjected, and demand the immediate cessation of Israeli aggression.

Cuba also spoke out, blaming Israel for “the criminal bombing” and whose president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, demanded an “immediate” ceasefire as well as “an end to these flagrant violations of International Humanitarian Law.”

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga