A Palestinian Red Crescent representative on Tuesday described the destruction of the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City as a war crime and genocide, while a local doctor called it a massacre. Over 600 people have been reported dead, but it is feared the final death toll may exceed a thousand.
“This is genocide. This is a war crime,” Nebal Farsakh of the Red Crescent told Al Jazeera. She explained that in addition to the patients inside, many Palestinian civilians had sought shelter in the hospital compound, after Israel ordered everyone in the north of Gaza to leave.
“Those who were in front of the hospital were forced to leave their homes under the evacuation order. They can’t even afford to evacuate to the south. There’s complete destruction of the infrastructure and transportation,” she said, speaking from Ramallah in the West Bank.
“What’s happened is terrible because those people, all of them, are civilians. They fled their homes and reached a place that they believed was safe – a hospital, which according to international law, is a safe place,” Ziad Shehadah, a doctor in Gaza, told AJ. “People left their homes thinking they were more dangerous and they moved to our schools and hospitals to be safe. And in one minute, all of them have been killed at a hospital.”
According to Shehadah, the final death toll could easily reach more than 1,000.