Missile Attacks on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and Silence of Reference International Authorities

Document Type : Editorial


Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


On Oct. 17/2023, at approximately 19:00 hrs Gaza time after several days of warning to evacuate Gaza hospitals, missile attack of Israeli military of Gaza hospitals killed more than 500 patients and their companions. Interestingly, based on international laws, attack of healthcare facilities has been strictly prohibited. Indeed, based on Geneva Convention, there should be no “obstacle to the humanitarian activities” and that wounded and sick “shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.” Article 19 demands that medical units, i.e. hospitals and mobile medical facilities, may in no circumstances be attacked (1). Almost none of the reference international authorities, including the WHO and the Western Governing bodies, demonstrated any effective response. Medical neutrality is violated when health care professionals, facilities, or patients come under attack, or when medical professionals are not allowed to provide treatment. Generally, past 85 years of murdering defenseless Palestinian people by the Israeli army has been handled with indifference and even support of Western governments. What is seen from the Western countries in the past month is that people strongly support the innocent people of Gaza contrary to their governments and governing bodies support the Israeli government contrary to views of their people. Please note that if these actions, meaning hospital attacks and killing of more than 500 defenseless innocent people had taken place by an Islamic country, then you would have witnessed what kind of reaction Western governments would have demonstrated. Two years ago, during the Israeli bombing of Gaza in May 2021, parts of a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) trauma and burns care clinic were destroyed in a series of airstrikes as well. We must understand the Hamas attack of Israeli usurped villages in shadow of inattention to obvious Palestinian rights and even lack of execution of the plan to form an independent Palestine. The same plan that became history after Netanyahu came to power. As a researcher/academician who has been a hospital Chief Executive Officer, I ask all Hospital Chief Executive Officers in the world to condemn the savage Israeli attack of the Gaza hospital. 

1. The Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.