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Fury in Turkey, Muslim World After Deadly Attack on Gaza Hospital

Deadly Attack on Gaza Hospital
The scene at the Gaza Hospital minutes after the blast. Credit: Twitter/@v_saleha

Angry demonstrations took place in Turkey and Middle Eastern countries following the deadly attack on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday evening.

In Istanbul, protestors attempted to storm the Israeli consulate. Security forces used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse protesters who managed to force their way into a compound where the Israeli consulate is located. Videos depict angry crowds blaming Israel for the blast that is believed to have killed hundreds of people.

Israel has denied responsibility and claims that a fire broke out at the hospital as a result of a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad group.

A convoy of vehicles headed to a military base in Malatya, Turkey, where US soldiers are stationed.

In a message on social media, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the blast at the Gaza hospital as “the latest example of Israeli attacks devoid of the most basic human values.”

“I invite all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza,” Erdoğan said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Furious response across Muslim world

Elsewhere, there was a furious response across the Muslim world. Protestors in Jordan, home to millions of Palestinian refugees, attempted to storm the Israeli embassy.

In Lebanon, demonstrators clashed with security forces outside the US embassy. Stones were hurled and a building set on fire.

The US State Department authorized the departure of “some non-emergency” personnel from the US Embassy in Beirut, citing the “unpredictable security situation.”

Protests took place outside the French and British embassies in Tehran. Demonstrators could be heard chanting “Death to France, England, America, and the Zionists,” according to a video published by state-run RNA news. Rallies also took place in other cities, including Esfahan and Qom.

Hezbollah, Lebanon’s powerful Iran-backed armed militant group and political party, called for a “day of rage”.

Israel denies involvement in the Gaza hospital blast

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday produced a thirty-second video, saying the deadly hospital blast in Gaza City could not have been the result of an Israeli airstrike.

Using images showing fire damage to several vehicles in the hospital parking lot, the montage presented by the IDF suggests a fire broke out at the hospital as a result of a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad group.

The IDF added there were no visible signs of craters or significant damage to buildings that would result from an airstrike.

The Islamic Jihad movement denied Israel’s assertions that a failed rocket launch was responsible, claiming it does not utilize public facilities such as hospitals for military purposes, according to a written statement published on Wednesday which described the Israeli accusations as “false and baseless.”

The building was sheltering thousands of displaced people when it was bombed on Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement. Many victims are still under the rubble, it was added.

President Biden “outraged” by hospital attack

The horror of events at Ahli Arab Hospital and the swift backlash threatened to derail Biden’s high-stakes visit to the Middle East, which gets underway on Wednesday.

Biden was due to attend a meeting scheduled in Jordan with several Arab leaders, but the summit was canceled in the wake of a blast at the Gaza hospital.

While aboard Air Force One on his way to Israel overnight on Tuesday, Biden released a statement saying he was “outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted.”

He said he spoke “immediately” after hearing the news with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said he has “directed [his] national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.”

“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy,” Biden added.

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