Reports of direct hit on Christian hospital in Gaza

The Anglican-run Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.(Photo: Lambeth Palace)

There have been reports of an air strike on a Christian hospital in Gaza, resulting in hundreds of fatalities. 

The Gaza health ministry said that at least five people have been killed in the alleged Israeli air strike on the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. 

The media office of the Hamas government said that the hospital was sheltering “hundreds of sick and wounded, and people forcibly displaced from their homes”. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning, according to Palestinian state media.

Israel has said it is looking into claims that its forces struck the hospital. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said: “We will get the details and update the public. I don’t know to say whether it was an Israeli air strike.”

The Al Ahli Arab Hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and had, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury, already reportedly been damaged by Israeli rocket fire late on 14 October, injuring four staff members. 

Just a few days ago, Archbishop Justin Welby had warned that hospitals in Gaza were “facing catastrophe” and running low on medical supplies.

He had also warned that seriously ill and injured patients at the Al Ahli Hospital and other healthcare facilities in northern Gaza “cannot be safely evacuated”, and had appealed for the evacuation order on hospitals in northern Gaza to be reversed.

Embrace the Middle East, a partner of the Al Ahli Hospital, said it was “devastated” by reports of a direct hit on the facility. 

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