U.S President, Joe Biden has implied that Palestinian armed groups were likely behind the bombing incident at al-Ahli Arab Hospital.
This came as the U.S President landed in Israel on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, to meet Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of his newly established war cabinet.
Netanyahu welcomed Biden at the Ben Gurion Airport.
During a meeting with Netanyahu, Biden said, “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.”
However, Biden noted that there were “a lot of people out there” who were not sure about what caused the blast.
Biden did not provide any evidence to support his assessment.
The health ministry in Gaza said that blast at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital was caused by an Israeli air raid.
Meanwhile, Israel attributed the explosion to a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group. The PIJ has, however, denied the allegation.
Biden told Netanyahu that he was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the hospital explosion. He stressed that “Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people and it has brought them only suffering.”
Biden also mentioned the need to find ways of “encouraging life-saving capacity to help the Palestinians who are innocent, caught in the middle of this.”
In their meeting, Biden iterated U.S support for Israel, telling Netanyahu that Washington would provide Israel everything it needed to defend itself amid the continuing war in Gaza.
He added that 31 Americans were among the more than 1,400 people killed inside Israel in the October 7 attack.
Netanyahu thanked Biden for coming to Israel, saying that the visit was “deeply, deeply moving.”
“I know I speak for all the people of Israel when I say thank you Mr. President, thank you for standing with Israel today, tomorrow and always,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu averred that Biden had rightly drawn a clear line between the “forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism,” saying Israel was united in its resolve to defeat Hamas.
“The civilized world must unite to defeat Hamas,” he said.
At the moment, the number of people killed in Gaza stands at 3,300, with more than 13,000 injured since October 7, 2023.
In the occupied West Bank, at least 61 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,250 injured.
The death toll in Israel also stands at 1,400, with another 4,475 injured.
Israel’s Denial Not Surprising
Chris Gunness, former Spokesman of the UN relief agency in Palestine (UNRWA), opined that Israel’s denial that it was responsible for the attack on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza is not surprising.
“When was the last time a homemade rocket from Gaza destroyed an entire building and killed 500 people? Of course, we have to await the outcome of the Israeli investigation into this incident,” Gunness told a news agency.
Gunness added that Israel has a history of spreading disinformation, even against UN agencies.
“In 2014, Mark Regev [former Israeli PM spokesman] and the rest of the Israeli spin doctors wasted no time in putting out all sorts of disinformation about UNRWA,” Gunness said.
He added, “They put out a video live on American TV telling the world that there were militants firing rockets from UNRWA schools. These were all investigated by the UN and other agencies and they were all found to be complete nonsense.”