In a recent development, the head of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has labelled Israel’s recent attack on a Gaza hospital as a potential “war crime.”
“Targeting a hospital, considered a safe haven under International Humanitarian Law, is a war crime,” stated Faki.
The incident, which took place on Tuesday, has drawn widespread condemnation. The health ministry of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian region reported that Israeli air strikes on the hospital, which was providing shelter to displaced individuals, resulted in the tragic loss of at least 800 lives.
However, the Israeli military offers a contrasting narrative. They attribute the strike to a rocket that was mistakenly launched by the Islamic Jihad Palestinian militants, who are known allies of Hamas.
There are no words to fully express our condemnation of Israel's bombing of a #Gaza hospital today, killing hundreds of people. Targeting a hospital, considered a safe haven under International Humanitarian Law, is a war crime. The International Community must act now.
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) October 17, 2023
The Broader Conflict
This incident is part of a larger conflict that erupted on October 7, when Hamas militants from Gaza initiated attacks on southern Israel. This act set off a chain of events leading to a full-blown war, causing significant casualties on both sides.
To date, Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip have resulted in approximately 3,000 fatalities. On the other side, over 1,400 Israelis have lost their lives, with a significant number being targeted by Hamas militants who infiltrated from Gaza to strike border communities.
The international community watches with bated breath as the situation unfolds, hoping for a resolution that will bring lasting peace to the region.