Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum said on Wednesday that Al Alhi Arab Hospital in Gaza received “specific warnings” by phone on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to “evacuate the hospital” prior to Tuesday’s blast.
“There are at least 15 hospitals that received a warning — including the Arab Al Ahli hospital — that received a warning to evacuate the hospital,” he said in response to one question about whether they had received “warnings from the Israelis.”
He went on to state that—a few days prior to the “massacre” on Tuesday—the hospital was hit by two “rockets” or missiles (“I don’t know what to classify them as”), which he said damaged the 4th floor and the ceiling of the 5th floor, “our new diagnostic center,” as well as the “mammography and ultrasound room” on the 2nd floor.
“Three days before the actual bombing, the hospital was hit in the two floors that I mentioned. And then we received… the notices to evacuate. And then the hospital was struck last night. So… these are the facts on the ground that actually happened.”
“Since the [decision being] made about the evacuation of north Gaza to the south of Gaza, we had received three warnings,” said Archbishop Naoum. “So, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.”
He also noted that there are “many buildings” and “many” houses” that are “being bombed by… Israeli air strikes.”
He stopped short of explicitly pinning the attack on Israel, stating that he is providing the “facts on the ground” and people can make their own analysis.
“The hospital itself is a sanctuary for people, and what happened there is a crime.”
“Who did this, this is not for us to determine or to give judgement,” he said, noting that they are “people of the cloth,” not military experts, journalists, or politicians.
“But I think, you know, let people just see what is happening on the ground. Let people see – beyond even the hospital. And we hope that… people will come to a conclusion that, like, enough with this war, and enough with the lives that have been lost on every side.”
Asked whether they received any calls from Israeli authorities “after the strike,” Archbishop Naoum said that they received calls from “many, many, many sides,” including diplomats and authorities from various countries wanting to “kind of ask what happened,” but “not the Israeli government.”
The doctors speak out
British-Palestinian volunteer Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta was in Gaza’s al-Ahli hospital when Israel bombed it.
He says the explosion caused part of the ceiling of the operating room to collapse.
The "only the parking lot" narrative is false. pic.twitter.com/yckvxQbC2d
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) October 19, 2023