United States: Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the major cause behind the bombardment at Al-Ahli Hospital on October 17 was because of a misfired rocket. It is to be noted that the attack resulted in heavy causalities at Gazan Hospital.
Following the explosion, outrage was triggered across the region, especially in the Arab world. Earlier, the Israeli government and the militants of the Hamas group were blaming each other for the act. However, Israel said it was because of the misfiring of rockets by the group.
As per the official figures shared by Gazan health ministry, the explosion killed as many as 471 people and left many injured. Whereas a report by US Intelligence unclassified estimated the death toll between 100 and 300, according to Reuters.
Furthermore, the news agency quoted the HRW as, “The explosion that killed and injured many civilians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023, resulted from an apparent rocket-propelled munition, such as those commonly used by Palestinian armed groups.”
Human Rights Watch explained that the investigation into the matter of the explosion was done with the assistance of satellite images and interviews with eyewitnesses as well as experts.
It is to be known that the hospital blast was one of the major incidents in the midst of the war.
While having a conversation with news agency Reuters, a senior Hamas official – Basem Naim, blamed HRW for being biased towards Israel. He states that the report was not “decisive.” “HRW hasn’t come up with any evidence to support their findings nor eyewitness testimonies nor opinion of independent military exports,” he was quoted saying.
Furthermore, he highlighted that HRW sent questions, but Hamas declined to respond until the end of the war.
Naim added that Hamas has always shown full cooperation and support towards any international committee, including HRW, to visit the region and conduct any probe.
Remarks by Israeli officials
The report by Human Rights Watch was criticized by the deputy director general for public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry for Israel – Emmanuel Nahshon. He slammed HRW for delaying its opinion about the ongoing conflict in the Mideast region.
Nahshon took X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his point. His post read, “More than a month to reach half-heartedly the conclusion the whole world reached after two days.”
Remarks by HRW
According to the reports shared by the Human Rights Watch, the attack killed around 471 people and 342 were majorly and minorly injured. It displayed an unusual “high killed-to-injured ratio” and “out of proportion” damage to the hospital facility.
The HRW crisis and conflict director – Ida Sawyer, mentioned, “Authorities in Gaza and Israel should release the evidence of munition remnants and other information they have regarding the Al-Ahli hospital explosion to allow for a full investigation,” as per Reuters.
Effect of explosion on hospital facilities
It is to be known that continuous bombing has resulted in the killing of hundreds of Palestinians and has made the majority of the hospitals dysfunctional – especially in the northern region.
The authorities of Israel blame the militant group Hamas for using civilians as human shields and keeping their weapons and arsenals in the hospital facilities. Whereas Hamas has been blaming Israeli Defense Forces for targeting public infrastructure, including hospitals and schools.