PM Modi expresses outrage at hospital bombing in Gaza Strip


People inspect inside a church within the premises of Al-Ahli hospital where hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other, and where Palestinians who fled their homes were sheltering amid the ongoing conflict with Israel, in Gaza City, October 18, 2023.

People inspect inside a church within the premises of Al-Ahli hospital where hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other, and where Palestinians who fled their homes were sheltering amid the ongoing conflict with Israel, in Gaza City, October 18, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed outrage at the hospital bombing in the Gaza Strip and said the death of non-combatants in the latest round of the Israel-Palestine conflict is a matter of concern. In a social media message that was posted hours after an alleged Israeli bombing of the Al Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza Strip left at least 500 of Palestinians dead, PM Modi called for justice in the case. Several other political notables including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of the Congress has condemned the bombing.

“Deeply shocked at the tragic loss of lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured. Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict are a matter of serious and continuing concern. Those involved should be held responsible,” said PM Modi. 

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden expressed outrage over the attack that is being blamed on Israel and that Israel has blamed on the Islamic Jihad. According to Turkish news agency Anadolu, at least 500 Palestinians of all ages including doctors and patients were killed in the attack. “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,” said President Biden. Other world leaders including French President Macron have also condemned the incident. OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha blamed the Israeli forces for the attack and said, “I strongly condemn the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation through the bombing of the National Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip.”

Priyanka Gandhi slams blockade of Gaza

In the strongest comment from the Indian political community, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of the Congress party, condemned the “blockading” of essential items for Gaza and said, “The bombing of hospitals, the murder of children, the blockading of food, water and medicines to civilians….there are no words strong enough to condemn the horror that is taking place in Gaza. As a woman, a mother, a human being, I am ashamed that the world is allowing these crimes to be committed with such impunity.”

In New Delhi, Israeli ambassador Naor Gilon issued a videotaped message blaming the Islamic Jihad for the bombing and added that rockets fired by the Hamas have often fallen within the Gaza territory hurting Palestinian people.. 

The Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced that around 3000 people have died since Israel began pounding Gazan targets from September 7 onwards after the Hamas attacked Israeli targets. 12,500 Palestinians have been wounded. Apart from Gaza, 61 people were killed in the West Bank and 1,250 were wounded in the West Bank which has been witnessing strong protest since the news of the hospital bombing came late Tuesday evening. 

Reacting to the bombing of civilian targets including the hospital in Gaza, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, in a post on X, said, “If reports are true that Israeli air strikes yesterday killed hundreds of people in a hospital in Gaza, that is condemnable. It is as brutal as the Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 that triggered the present bloody conflict”.

He added that India and other countries must prevail upon both sides to immediately stop fighting and start negotiations.

“Both sides have suffered and will continue to suffer if the fighting does not stop immediately. War is no solution to disputes,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

Tuesday’s devastating attack and PM Modi’s remarks prompted Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to condemn “terrorism in all forms.” He also took on NCP President Sharad Pawar saying, “It is very disturbing when a senior leader like Sharad Pawar ji makes preposterous statements on India’s stand on a terror attack in Israel. It is a pity that a person who has been India’s Defence Minister as well as a Chief Minister Many times has such a casual view on issues relating to terror,” said Mr. Goyal.

Speaking to the NCP workers, Mr. Pawar had observed last Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the Hamas-Israel war seemed to convey a different position from the one expressed by the Ministry of External Affairs. He had further informed that he stood for dialogue and peace process to end the conflict. Prime Minister Modi had condemned the terror attack on Israel on October 7 and expressed solidarity with Tel Aviv. The Ministry of External Affairs subsequently supplemented the statement by reiterating that India’s policy for the two-state solution – Israel and Palestine – remained unchanged.



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