UAE condemns Israeli missile strike on Gaza hospital

At least 500 people have died following the attack on the medical facility

Wounded Palestinians were taken to the Al Shifa hospital following Tuesday's attack. Photo: AP
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza

The UAE has strongly condemned an Israeli missile strike on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday in which hundreds of people were killed.

Initial estimates by the Gaza Health Ministry said at least 500 people died following the attack on Al Ahli Arab hospital.

The facility was packed with wounded people receiving care, as well as displaced residents seeking shelter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its "deep regret for the loss of life", in a statement carried by state news agency Wam on Wednesday morning.

It called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities" and stressed that civilians and civilian institutions should not be targeted during the conflict.

"The United Arab Emirates strongly condemns the Israeli attack that targeted Al Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of people," the statement said.

"The Ministry further underlined the importance of the protection of civilians, according to international humanitarian law, international treaties for the protection of civilians and human rights, and the need to ensure that they are not targeted in conflict," the statement said.

The UAE urged the international community to intensify efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of life and to advance all efforts to secure a comprehensive and just peace in order to prevent the region from being "pulled into new levels of violence, tension and instability".

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President, said the incident underlined the vital need to protect innocent lives from conflict in a message on social media.

"The human tragedy and horrific scenes of innocent people as a result of the condemned Israeli targeting of the Al Maamadani Hospital in Gaza emphasize the priority of sparing civilians from the ravages of war and respecting humanitarian law, which guarantees their protection," Dr Gargash wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"We mourn the souls of the martyrs and renew the necessity to stop violence and bloodshed in light of the recurring scenes of daily destruction."

Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also joined the UAE in denouncing Israel following the blast.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 3,000, with more than 12,500 injured since the war broke out.

Several hospitals in Gaza have become refuges for hundreds of people trying to avoid bombardment after Israel ordered all residents of the city and surrounding areas to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military denied responsibility for the strike.

The hospital strike drew condemnation from international organisations and nations globally.

The World Health Organisation “strongly condemns the attack” and urged that “health care must be actively protected and never targeted”, according to international humanitarian law.

Updated: October 18, 2023, 11:44 AM