Deconstructing a Lie: How Israel Bombed Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, then Changed Its Story Twice

Worldwide Protests Against Zionist Slaughter… [Photo: 100,000 mobilize for Palestine in London]

By Palestine Chronicle Editors

[Socialist Action Editor’s note: As we go to press, the corporate media features the Wednesday, October 18 visit of US President Joseph Biden to Israel with a front page photo of Biden embracing Israel’s butcher Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while pledging an “unprecedented” aid package to the Zionist apartheid state. The New York Times coverage headlined, “U.S. Says Israel Didn’t Cause Hospital Blast, as Biden Promises Aid to Gaza” stated, “President Biden backed Israel’s claim that a Gaza City explosion that killed hundreds, which Hamas blamed on Israel, had come from a failed rocket launch by an armed Palestinian group.” The Times cited, without evidence,  “multiple stands of American intelligence” affirming the Zionist denial. The death toll from the Al-Ahil Hospital bombing reported by Palestinian medical authorities stands close to 500. UN reports affirm that the Zionist slaughter, including 6,000 bombs in the first few days, obliterated 13 Gaza hospitals.]  The bombing intensity, in the first six days of the Zionist war, according to the Washington Post, exceeded that “used in a year during the US  war against Afghanistan and double what the US/NATO coalition used against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in a month.”]

Photo: Tues., Oct. 17: Mass protest in solidarity with Palestine outside the Israeli consulate, in Istanbul, Turkey. Emrah Gurel/AP

Israel bombed a UN-run school in central Gaza, then carried out a massacre in Al-Ahli hospital, took responsibility, changed its story, then bombed another hospital.

On Tuesday evening, Israeli missiles rained down on thousands of Palestinians taking shelter in Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. 

Al-Ahli is one of the largest Palestinian medical centers in the Gaza Strip. 

Like other hospitals and clinics in Gaza, Al-Ahli was already running short on fuel, medicine, and space for the thousands of wounded who fell under the weight of their homes, following Israeli bombardment. 

The attack came as a shock, even though over 3,000 Palestinians were killed in Gaza starting on October 7. 

The shock was a result of the fact that Israel, some thought, could not, or, rather would not go as far as killing hundreds of people sheltered inside a hospital. 

Another reason behind the false sense of safety among those civilians sheltered inside the hospital, is that Al-Ahli, formerly known as Al-Mamadani is largely funded and managed by the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem.

Sadly, they were wrong. 

Israeli Reaction 

But how did Israel react to its crime, considered one of the worst in the history of its wars against the besieged, impoverished and overcrowded Strip? 

So far, two different positions have been declared by the Israeli government. 

At precisely 9:37 pm, Palestine time, Aljazeera Arabic live blog, citing Israeli military spokesman, wrote:

“ISRAELI ARMY SPOKESMAN: “We had warned to evacuate the Baptist Hospital (Al-Ahli) and 5 other hospitals so that Hamas would not take them as a refuge.”

This statement was indeed consistent with other statements made by Al-Ahli hospital administration following the massacre. It said that they had been threatened that if they did not evacuate the hospital, the hospital would be bombed. 

Evacuating, however, was simply impossible. Not only because hospitals should not be bombed under any circumstance, but because there was nowhere else to go for those thousands of patients and their families. 

Another reason is that most major hospitals, including the Al-Shifa Medical Center, were also warned by the Israeli military to evacuate. 

When the news of the massacre began circulating, and gruesome images of mutilated bodies of children and civilians began appearing on TV channels and social media platforms, the Israeli position began shifting. 

The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported that the Israeli military had changed its story. 

“The Israeli military said that the killing of hundreds of people at a hospital in the Gaza Strip (…) was caused by a failed rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a militant group in Gaza,” Xinhua reported. 

Deconstructing the Lie

But this cannot possibly be the case, for several reasons: 

First, no one in the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza has bombs with this kind of destructive capabilities. 

Second, the Israeli military had already made it clear, in its initial statement, that it was the party behind the mass killing. 

Third, Israel had in fact already bombed that same hospital, only a few days earlier, specifically on Saturday, October 14. The bombing then resulted in infrastructural damage. 

Fourth, Israel has bombed other hospitals as well, including Al-Dura hospital and the Indonesian hospital, among others.

Fifth, soon before the massacre, Israeli aircraft also carried out a strike against a UNRWA-run school, sheltering civilians, in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, killing and wounding dozens.

And finally, and perhaps even more important, is the fact that the Israeli army continued bombing hospitals, even following the news of the great massacre. 

One of these hospitals was the European Hospital in Gaza.

“Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported that the Israeli occupation forces bombed the vicinity of the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip,” Aljazeera Live Blog reported.

[Reprinted from The Palestine Chronicle: The Palestine Chronicle is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the general public by providing a forum that strives to highlight issues of relevance to human rights, national struggles, freedom and democracy in the form of daily news, commentary, features, book reviews, photos, art, and more.]

Related Articles