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Russia, UAE call for emergency Security Council meeting after Gaza hospital massacre


An injured person is assisted at Shifa Hospital after hundreds of Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike against the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, on October 17, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council after Israeli bombardment struck a packed hospital compound in central Gaza, killing at least 500 people, including patients and displaced Palestinians sheltering inside.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, announced in a post on the Telegram messaging application on Tuesday night that his country and the UAE have requested the convening of an open session at the Security Council before October 18 due to the Israeli airstrike against the Anglican-run al-Ahli al-Arab Hospital, also known as the Baptist Hospital, in Gaza.

The attack on the hospital quickly drew widespread international condemnation, as news outlets and social media became filled with images of burning rooms and heavy stretchers.

"This is outrageous and again it shows a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians," the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on social media.

UN Special Coordinator condemns Israelís Gaza hospital carnage

Meanwhile, Tor Wennesland, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, strongly condemned the Israeli strike on the Gaza hospital.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the horrific attack against the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City," he said, which resulted in the loss of at least 500 lives and wounded hundreds of others, including women and children.

"I express my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims," he said.

Wennesland reiterated that "attacks against civilians are unacceptable and that hospitals and medical facilities and personnel have special protection under international humanitarian law. Civilians cannot continue to pay the price. The horror and violence must stop."

Abbas: Gaza hospital carnage intolerable

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, denounced the Israeli bombardment of a hospital in Gaza as a great calamity and a heinous war crime, which cannot be tolerated or allowed to go unpunished.

He added that the occupying Israeli regime has crossed all red lines, and "We will not allow it to escape accountability and punishment."

Abbas called on Palestinians from all walks of life "to close the ranks and foster unity, not to shift the compass, and not to be drawn into strife from which only the enemies of the Palestinian nation will benefit."

The Palestinian president stressed that "the aggression against our people must stop," calling on the international community to hold Israel accountable and provide international protection for Palestinians.

"We will not allow a new Nakba (Catastrophe) in the 21st century, and we will not accept the displacement of our people again," Abbas said.

"Our people will remain steadfast in their homeland and will not leave, no matter the sacrifices," the Palestinian leader asserted.

Abbas further stressed that "we will do everything necessary to stop the bloodbath in Gaza and in the West Bank," adding, "The Security Council must shoulder its responsibilities and take the initiative to issue a resolution to condemn this crime and stop the aggression immediately."

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the al-Ahli Arab Hospital served a vital role in offering shelter to civilians.

"The hospital was housing hundreds of sick and wounded, and people forcibly displaced from their homes," the ministry said.

The total death toll from Israelís aggression against the Gaza Strip has risen to some 3,500, with over 1,000 children among the victims. About 12,500 have been injured since Israeli air raids began.

The rising death toll and flattened buildings with no food, water and electricity supplies are what Israelís non-stop strikes, shelling and complete blockade have caused in the Gaza Strip.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/27846


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