The Health Ministry in Gaza on Monday said 12 people, including patients and their companions, were killed in an Israeli strike on the Indonesian hospital in the north of the Palestinian territory.
The ministry’s spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said around 700 people remain at the hospital where they are being “besieged” by Israeli forces. Meanwhile, twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on Monday after they were evacuated from Gaza’s largest hospital, which has been raided by Israel in recent days.
The World Health Organization has described the hospital as a “death zone” as Israel seeks to uncover what it claims are Hamas bases in tunnels underneath the facility.
Stop Israeli atrocities
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called on 50 heads of state for unified action in exerting economic and political pressure on Israel to stop the regime’s crimes in Gaza.
In a letter to 50 heads of state including Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Kenya, and Jordan, Raisi highlighted the continued brutal actions of Israel against the defenseless people of Gaza that have resulted in the loss of over 13,000 lives and the destruction of infrastructure over the past 45 days.
He also criticized the double standards employed by certain Western governments that disregard intentional violations of humanitarian principles, ethics, and rights.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also said on Monday that the resistance groups in the region have repeatedly warned the US and Israel that they will not sit idly by if the occupying regime continues its attacks against the Palestinian people in the besieged strip.
Kanaani said that the growing opposition to Israeli crimes in Gaza and the US support for the regime’s atrocities show that nations are dissatisfied with the war and want it to stop.
The Iranian diplomat also urged the US government to pay attention to global security and peace and stop its support for Israeli crimes in Gaza instead of asking others to do so, or end doing something.
Call for urgent action
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who hosted diplomats from Arab and Muslim-majority nations on Monday, called for urgent action to stop the “humanitarian disaster” unfolding in Gaza.
“The situation in Gaza affects all countries around the world, questioning the human sense of right and wrong and humanity’s bottom line,” Wang told the visiting diplomats.
A delegation of foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were in Beijing for talks on the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
“Let us work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the Middle East as soon as possible,” Wang said.
The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israel of seeking to “bring to an end the Palestinian people’s presence on what remains of its historical land”.
And Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat, said Riyadh was “seeking more cooperation with our friends in China,” with a view to “work towards ending this crisis and this grave situation as quickly as possible”.
Israel under pressure
Six weeks into the war, Israel is facing intense international pressure to justify its bloody toll.
Israeli officials have warned a “window of legitimacy” for the war to rout Hamas may be closing.
Israel on Sunday presented what it said was evidence Hamas gunmen used Shifa Hospital to hide foreign hostages and to mask underground tunnels.
Israel has repeatedly claimed that Shifa doubles as a base for Palestinian fighters, a charge Hamas and hospital administrators deny.
Meanwhile, an Israeli police investigation into the October 7 attack indicates that Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) mistakenly shot some festival attendees while firing at Hamas fighters, a report suggested.
The alleged debacle was reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing an unnamed police source.
The source told Haaretz that their police investigation said an IDF combat helicopter fired at Hamas fighters after arriving on the scene. While targeting the perpetrators, the helicopter also hit some festivalgoers, the source said.
Frantic diplomatic efforts were meanwhile underway to seal a deal for the release of some of the 240 captives taken by the Hamas fighters during the movement’s Operation Al-Aqsa Storm on October 7.