Almost no national news media have mentioned the FIRST strike on Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which Israel admitted perpetrating…
By Alison Weir
There has been considerable reporting on the lethal blast at Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza on October 17th that killed and injured hundreds of people.
Many US news reports, particularly broadcast news, emphasize Israel’s version of events, in which the blast was allegedly caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket. These reports often omit other evidence that suggests the opposite: that it was caused by an Israeli airstrike.
At this point, despite what many Americans are seeing on TV, the facts appear unproven either way.
One thing is clear, however, although this is almost always omitted in news reports.
Three days before the October 17th blast, an Israeli airstrike had struck the hospital, causing injuries and significant destruction.
In this case the perpetrator is not in doubt. Israel took responsibility for the attack, telling hospital officials the next day: “We warned you yesterday with two shells” and asked for the evacuation of the facility.
The hospital was sheltering at least a thousand people who had fled their homes in northern Gaza seeking safety from Israeli airstrikes. They included both Christian and Muslim Palestinians, since all were welcome. (Over 2,000 Palestinians and 1,300 Israelis had been killed since October 7th.)
Some Christian news organizations have been reporting on this strike, since the hospital was founded and is run by Christian denominations. Baptist news reports that Al-Ahli Hospital has been in operation since 1882, when it was founded by the Church of England. Beginning in 1954 it was managed by the Baptist church for 30 years. Since 1980 the hospital has been run by the Episcopal Church.*
Anglican News reports that “the strike on al-Ahli Arab hospital happened at 7.30 pm EST (4.30 pm GMT) on Saturday 14 October. Four hospital staff were injured in the blast and are receiving treatment for their wounds.”
The Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem said that the area damaged by the Israeli strike, the Diagnostic Centre,
“is the Crown Jewel of Ahli Hospital, providing cancer diagnosis as a prelude to various treatment options both at Ahli and in other facilities. Next month, we were due to open a new chemotherapy centre there in partnership with Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives – a principal reason for our visit to the hospital last week.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, stated:
Hospitals and patients in Gaza are in grave danger. The seriously ill and injured patients at the Anglican-run Ahli Hospital – and other healthcare facilities in northern Gaza – cannot be safely evacuated. They are running low on medical supplies. They are facing catastrophe.
The Ahli Hospital was hit by Israeli rocket fire last night, with four staff injured in the blast. Other hospitals have also been hit.
I appeal for the evacuation order on hospitals in northern Gaza to be reversed – and for health facilities, health workers, patients and civilians to be protected.
Baptist news reports: “The Israeli offensive and blockade have left 22 Gaza hospitals caring for thousands of wounded without electricity, water, food or medicine. As pain medicines run out, children and adults are left writhing in agony and babies on life support are left to die.”
*More details on the history of the hospital are here.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.
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