The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded to gunfire reportedly emanating from the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza. The IDF's statement on Monday detailed their response to the attack: "Overnight, terrorists opened fire from within the Indonesian hospital in Gaza toward IDF troops operating outside the hospital.
In response, IDF troops directly targeted the specific source of enemy fire. No shells were fired toward the hospital." However, this response led to a tragic outcome. Health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave reported that twelve people, including patients and a medical staff member, lost their lives due to Israeli tank fire hitting the hospital.
Conflicting Reports and International Condemnation
The situation inside the hospital was dire, as described by Palestinian journalist Anas al-Sharif, who was present at the scene. "We are under fire in the Indonesian Hospital, and we are trapped inside," he told CNN, painting a picture of chaos and fear.
This incident has drawn sharp international criticism. The World Health Organization's Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his shock and condemnation in a statement. "WHO is appalled by an attack on the Indonesian Hospital in #Gaza.
Health workers and civilians should never have to be exposed to such horror, and especially when inside a hospital," he said. His words underscore the grave concern over the safety of medical facilities and personnel in conflict zones.
The IDF maintains that their actions were a direct response to enemy fire and that they did not intentionally target the hospital. This claim contrasts starkly with the reported casualties and damage, highlighting the complexities and tragic consequences of military engagements in densely populated areas like Gaza.
Among those killed were individuals receiving treatment at the hospital and a healthcare worker, highlighting the severe human cost of this incident. The death of civilians and medical staff in this incident raises serious questions about the conduct of military operations near sensitive sites such as hospitals. It also underscores the urgent need for measures to protect non-combatants and medical facilities in conflict zones.