Statement from Refugees International:
“Refugees International is horrified by the bombing of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in northern Gaza. Reports so far indicate as many as 500 fatalities, with many more injured. The World Health Organization has confirmed that the Al Ahli Arab Hospital was one of 20 hospitals facing evacuation orders from the Israel military. While responsibility is disputed, the mere fact of this bombing emphasizes the utter urgency of negotiating an immediate humanitarian pause in the fighting, de-escalating the worsening violence, and pressing both parties toward a viable ceasefire as rapidly as possible. Refugees International calls for an impartial and independent investigation of this crime and consideration of a more formal impartial investigative mechanism.
There will be no safety or protection for civilians as long as this conflict continues. Due to the severity of conditions in Gaza, hospitals, including the al Ahli Arab Hospital, are serving as shelters for thousands of patients, healthcare workers, and internally displaced Palestinians. UN agencies underscore that evacuation is impossible given the scale of violence, the conditions of many patients, a lack of safe and reliable transportation, and no alternatives for those displaced. The damage wrought by this bombing is a gruesome example of the devastation occurring daily in Gaza.
International humanitarian law is clear. Attacks against medical facilities, medical personnel, and the wounded and sick are prohibited. President Biden must use his visit to Israel to condemn war crimes, reinforce obligations under the laws of armed conflict, and call for an immediate humanitarian pause to halt the spiraling violence and allow UN agencies and other humanitarian personnel to respond to the mounting humanitarian needs inside of Gaza.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International Media and Communications Manager Etant Dupain at firstname.lastname@example.org.