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World reacts as Gaza officials say 500 killed in Israeli strike on hospital

At least 500 people have been killed in an Israeli air raid on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities in the besieged territory.

Several world leaders have condemned the attack.

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Here are some of the early key reactions:

Palestine

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the air raid as an act of “genocide” and a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

Abbas has also withdrawn from a previously scheduled meeting with US President Joe Biden, who is set to arrive in the region on Wednesday.

Jordan

In a statement on Tuesday, the Jordanian foreign ministry strongly condemned Israel’s attack and emphasised the need for international protection for Palestinian civilians and an end to the fighting.

King Abdullah II said Israel’s bombing of Gaza hospital was a “massacre” and a “war crime” that one cannot be silent about.

Egypt

The Egyptian government has issued a statement denouncing the attack “in the strongest terms”, calling on the international community to step in and prevent further violations.

Qatar

Qatar’s foreign ministry said the attack marked a dangerous escalation.

“The expansion of Israeli attacks over the Gaza Strip to include hospitals, schools, and other population centres is a dangerous escalation,” the statement reads.

World Health Organization (WHO)

“WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital”, the UN health agency’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the social media platform X, adding that early reports indicate “hundreds of deaths and injuries”.

“We call for the immediate protection of civilians and health care, and for the evacuation orders to be reversed.”

The Arab League

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that international leaders must “stop this tragedy immediately” in response to the attack.

“What diabolical mind intentionally bombards a hospital and its defenceless inhabitants?” he wrote in a social media post, saying that “Arab mechanisms will document these war crimes and the criminals will not get away with their actions.”

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the attack in a statement on social media.

“Hitting a hospital containing women, children and innocent civilians is the latest example of Israel’s attacks devoid of the most basic human values,” he said.

“I invite all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza.”

Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack and stressed the importance of adhering to the laws of war.

“The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable … international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases. There are rules around wars and it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital,” Trudeau told reporters.

Iran

Iran’s foreign ministry has denounced the air raid as an attack on “unarmed and defenceless people”, Iranian state media reported.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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