Red Cross slams shelling of Gaza hospital

This article is more than 12 months old

At least four people were killed and at least 70 injured when an Israeli tank shell slammed into the third floor of the Al Aqsa hospital in Gaza on Monday (July 21).

The attack severely damaged the surgical ward, intensive care unit, pieces of life-saving equipment and disrupted essential medical services

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemned in the strongest terms the shelling of the hospital in a statement released on their website. 

 Photo: AFP

According to a statement the hospital came under direct fire at least four times.

Al Jazeera quoted the Israeli military saying that their initial investigations suggested that anti-tank missiles were stored near the hospitals and that the weapons cached  was successfully targeted as a result of the operation.

"Civilian casualties are a tragic inevitability of the brutal and systematic exploitation of homes, hospitals and mosques in Gaza," Israel army

Safety of medical workers

“This incident is yet another illustration of the dangers faced by health care personnel, patients, ambulances and hospitals, in the current conflict in Gaza,” said Christian Cardon, the head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in Gaza. 

“Even in the midst of warfare, people must be able to receive medical care in safety," he added.

ICRC also reminded all parties of their obligation to respect and protect medical personnel, ambulances and facilities, which is provided for under international humanitarian law. 

Since the latest round of fighting which started on July 8, Gaza health officials reported that the Palestinian death tolls soared to 537 while Israelis have reported that 25 of their soldiers have been killed.

Source: Reuters, Red Cross, Al Jazeera