World leaders and prominent global organizations have decried the massive attack on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in conflict-torn Gaza, even as Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to accuse each other of having instigated the incident which has left at least 500 people dead.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, issued a scathing condemnation against the attack in an official statement published by the institution. Guterres also decried the recent attack on a school operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within a refugee camp in the disputed area.

On the UN’s official X account, the Secretary-General expressed his horror and disgust over how hundreds of Palestinian civilians died in the attack and pointed out how hospitals and medical personnel are, technically, neutral parties under the protection of international humanitarian law.

Guterres also reiterated his call to Israel and Hamas for an immediate ceasefire, so that organizations can bring humanitarian aid to affected areas.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the UN World Health Organization (WHO,) also condemned the attack on the hospital through his agency’s X account and demanded the immediate reversal of evacuation orders along with immediate protection for civilians and healthcare workers in the battlezone. 

Ghebreyesus’ sentiments were echoed by Dr Ghasan Abu Sittah of Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders, who referred to the attack as a massacre of the innocent and unsuspecting.

When Civilians Pay the Price of Conflict

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, grieved at how civilians have, again, been made to pay the dearest price, and referred to the hospital blast as a war crime. He called upon those in authority to determine who was directly responsible for the blast and that these be held accountable.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron remarked that no one on either side could justify the way civilians have been indiscriminately attacked. He further demanded that the Gaza Strip needed to be opened immediately so that humanitarian aid could be administered.

Other leaders who decried the incident include US President Joe Biden, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.