Hamas condemns HRW report on attacks on Gaza's hospitals

Sherry El Gergawi , Monday 27 Nov 2023

Hamas issued a statement on Monday condemning the initial report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) regarding the attacks on hospitals in the Gaza Strip, especially the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.

Bodies of Palestinians killed in explosion at the Al-Ahli Baptist Arab hospital
Bodies of Palestinians killed by an explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital are seen gathered at Al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2023. AP


The human rights organization released a report late on Sunday in which it held the resistance factions responsible for the aerial bombardment of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.

HRW report also questioned the number of casualties reported by the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, pointing out the disproportion between the reported figures and the visible damage to the bombarded site.

"The explosion that killed and injured many civilians at Al-Ahli Baptist Arab Hospital in Gaza on 17 October 2023 resulted from an apparent rocket-propelled munition, such as those commonly used by Palestinian movements," said Ida Sawyer, crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch.

Hamas says that the organization provided no clear material evidence for its conclusion, even though investigations by many international bodies have confirmed the Israeli occupation’s responsibility for the targeting that affected not only Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital but all the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. 

"What further undermines the credibility of this report is that the writers of the report could not have had access to the scene of the event, collected evidence, met witnesses, or listened to the reports of the competent authorities," Hamas statement added.

Furthermore, the Palestinian faction called on the organization to review the report and wait for the end of the aggression, stressing that Human Rights Watch is welcome to visit Gaza to investigate the incident directly. 

According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least 471 people were killed and 342 injured in the Israeli strike that targeted Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on 17th  October. 

Many who fell due to the strike had already been displaced by Israeli raids and camping on the hospital's grounds.

The HRW report confirmed, however, that Israeli forces have carried out repeated, apparently unlawful, attacks on medical facilities, personnel, and transport. 

As of 24 November, The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented 187 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza since 7 October, resulting in damages to 24 hospitals.

As a result of the hostilities, WHO said, the majority of hospitals in Gaza were no longer functioning.

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