WAR CRIMES: Israeli jets strike Turkish-run cancer center, severely disrupting healthcare services for Gazans
While the Israel ground invasion that was highly supported by President Joe Biden’s administration is still in the works, air strikes are being carried out not just in refugee camps and buildings, but also in healthcare infrastructures, in response to the militant group Hamas’s surprise attacks earlier this month.
Recently, Israeli war jets have damaged the Gaza Strip’s only hospital for cancer patients, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, according to Dr. Subhi Skaik, the hospital’s director general, on Monday. It left services “severely reduced.” As per reports, the Turkish-run cancer center has been attacked twice already since October 7. Skaik said on Facebook: “A state of panic afflicts cancer patients and medical staff as a result of the heavy Israeli bombardment of the only Turkish Friendship Hospital for cancer patients in the Gaza Strip and the infliction of severe damage to it as a result of the Israeli occupation repeatedly targeting its surroundings.”
He added that the Israeli forces not only increased the suffering and pain of cancer patients and deprived them of medicines and travel for treatment abroad, but they now endangered their lives by targeting the hospital surroundings. (Related: EERILY SILENT: Israel’s utter DISREGARD for civilian life in Gaza draws muted reaction from the West.)
Extremely concerning reports of airstrikes in the vicinity of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital in the last two days.
The hospital is the main cancer centre in the Gaza Strip. Services have been severely reduced because of cut-off of electricity and restricted entry… pic.twitter.com/DnqeTjHUwH
— WHO in occupied Palestinian territory (@WHOoPt) October 31, 2023
In a separate statement to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the hospital administrator said that the Israeli air strikes hit the third floor of the hospital building causing extensive damage, as a fire broke out in the floor before being contained. The attack also affected the electromechanical systems and exposed medical staff and patients alike to danger.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government slammed Israel’s attack “in the strongest terms” and emphasized that the targeting of hospitals and the blockade on Gaza were clear violations of international humanitarian law. “It is inexplicable for such an attack to take place given all the necessary information, including the coordinates of the institution in question, which is the only cancer hospital in Gaza, was shared with Israeli authorities in advance,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter. “The siege in Gaza, aimed at depriving the Palestinian people of their most basic rights, and these inhumane attacks, clearly violate international law.”
Moreover, an Indonesian hospital was hit by Israel in its immediate surroundings on Monday. “The Israeli attack endangered the lives of hundreds of injured people, patients, medical personnel, journalists and thousands of displaced people,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra, pointed out. “Under the Geneva Conventions, attacks on hospitals are strictly prohibited.”
— Turkish MFA (@MFATurkiye) October 30, 2023
WHO denounces Israeli air attacks
The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed that it is extremely concerned by reports of air strikes in the vicinity of the Turkish-Palestinian hospital in the last few days. “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of protecting health care in #Gaza,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus posted on X. “Cancer patients are already fragile and it’s imperative to do everything possible to ensure they’re receiving the care they need. It’s truly a matter of life or death.”
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of protecting health care in #Gaza.
The latest reports of air strikes around the main cancer facility in Gaza are terribly concerning. Cancer patients are already fragile, and it’s imperative to do everything possible to ensure they’re… https://t.co/Q20JJ0VWlH
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) October 31, 2023
Media outlet BBC has, meanwhile, verified a video circulated on social media on Monday evening in which a cloud of smoke can be seen outside the hospital and an explosion can be heard. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza also circulated on Tuesday photographs that it said showed some damage to the interior of the hospital.
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