Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Protests erupt after devastating strike on Gaza hospital

Following the airstrike on Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians, spontaneous protests broke out in several predominantly Muslim countries on Tuesday evening. In Amman, demonstrators tried to reach the Israeli embassy, the Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

Al Ahli Hospital after airstrike ©AP
Al Ahli Hospital after airstrike ©AP

Many demonstrators gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in the Turkish capital, Istanbul. Some waved Palestinian flags and chanted, "Down with Israel!" a broadcast by the state news agency Anadolu showed. The police were present en masse to protect the consulate in the Levent district.

In the Tunisian capital, Tunis, hundreds of people protested in front of the French embassy after the incident, state agency TAP reported. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds also gathered in the centre of the city in Baghdad, Iraq.

In Beirut's southern suburbs, eyewitnesses said hundreds of Hezbollah supporters took to the streets, calling for the bombing of Tel Aviv.

In Iran, a crowd in central Tehran chanted “Down with Israel,” videos from state news agency IRNA showed. The government declared Wednesday a day of mourning. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly condemned the attack and blamed Israel. Well after midnight, crowds marched in front of the British Embassy, waving Palestinian flags. There were also protests in front of the French representation.

Several countries announced days of mourning for the victims.

Reaction in EU

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that "an attack on a civilian target does not respect international law." Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called the attack "totally unacceptable".

French President Emmanuel Macron has said, "Nothing can justify targeting civilians." He also called for humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip to be opened "without delay."

Politicians in the Netherlands also condemned the attacks and agreed they violated international law.

Deadly attack

At least 500 people were killed in the blast that hit the hospital containing Palestinians seeking refuge after Israeli forces urged them to evacuate from northern Gaza earlier this week.

It has not yet been confirmed where the rocket originated. Hamas has blamed Israel, while the Israeli army has blamed Palestinian militants for a "misfire".


Hundreds gathered spontaneously outside the Israeli Consulate General in Ankara, Turkey
©Mert Can Bukulmez/ABACAPRESS

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