The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Israel’s brutal attack on a hospital in central Gaza as an act of “organized state terrorism” and a “war crime.”
Speaking at the OIC’s emergency ministerial meeting discussing Israeli aggression on Gaza, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hussein Ibrahim Taha on Wednesday said the latest incident represented a war crime.
He added that it was incompatible with all human values and emphasized that organized state terrorism deserved accountability and punishment.
In his speech at the extraordinary open-ended meeting of the executive committee at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah, Taha stressed the need for combined efforts to stop such unprecedented Israeli aggression and to ensure the opening of humanitarian corridors to facilitate the arrival of medicine, food, and essential items to the Gaza Strip.
He stressed that the OIC had warned that there had also been a lack of respect for the rule of international law and that Israel’s actions had not been punished.
“The occupation is free from accountability and punishment for its policies based on settlement, forced displacement, ethnic cleansing, murder, organized terrorism, attacks on sanctities, and other practices against the Palestinian people,” he said.
Taha further stressed that the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip had violated all rightful principles and values through the killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians, including children, women, and the elderly.
He added that the forced displacement of families and the indiscriminate destruction of residential, educational, health, and media facilities, including those of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and civilian infrastructure flagrantly violated international law.
“I hope this meeting will succeed in taking effective measures in order to stop this Israeli aggression, protect the Palestinian people, and provide them with assistance in this ordeal,” the OIC chief said on Wednesday.
“We stress that there will be no peace or stability in the region without finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, ending the Israeli colonial occupation, and embodying the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent, sovereign state on the 1967 borders with East al-Quds as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
In an earlier written statement on Tuesday night, the OIC said it “strongly condemns the brutal Israeli massacre in the Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip and considers it organized state terrorism and a war crime.”
The statement by the 57-member organization further said it “strongly condemns the brutal Israeli massacre in on the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip and considers it organized state terrorism and a war crime.”
The Muslim bloc held the “Israeli occupation accountable for the consequences of its crimes, terrorist practices and brutal attacks against the Palestinian people, which contradict all human values and constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
Elsewhere in the statement, the OIC called on the international community, and especially the UN Security Council (UNSC), to “urgently intervene to stop the war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.”
The Gaza Health Ministry in Gaza says hundreds of victims are trapped under the rubble of the Ahli Arab Hospital after up to 500 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday.
Photos from the hospital showed fire engulfing the hospital halls, shattered glass and body parts scattered across the area.
Soon after the strike on the hospital in Gaza, an advisor to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted in a social media post that the regime’s air force was responsible for the attack.
In his post on X, Israeli military propagandist Hananya Naftali claimed that the Israeli air force had struck a Hamas base inside the hospital. He said multiple members of the resistance movement were killed as a result. Hours later, however, he deleted the post, though screenshots of it went viral on social media platforms.
The media office of the Hamas resistance movement described the attack as a “war crime.”
The attack is the deadliest Israeli airstrike since 2008, the Palestinian Civil Defense said.
“The massacre at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital is unprecedented in our history. While we’ve witnessed tragedies in past wars and days, but what took place tonight is tantamount to genocide,” spokesman Mahmoud Basal said.
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning following the Israeli air strike. The president has condemned the deadly hospital strike as a hideous war massacre that cannot be tolerated.
Abbas said Israel has crossed all red lines. He further said it is unacceptable to talk about anything other than stopping the Israeli war on Gaza.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations also denounced Israel for carrying out the carnage in Gaza. Riyad Mansour was speaking at a press conference at the United Nations.
He urged the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities and urgently intervene to stop Israel’s war on Gaza.
Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Wednesday that the situation in the Gaza Strip was spiraling out of control.
UN chief Antonio Guterres has also condemned the hospital attack in Gaza, and called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the blockaded territory.
Thousands rallied across the Arab and Muslim world on Wednesday to protest the deaths of hundreds of people in the strike on the Gaza hospital.
Israel’s military campaign had already left at least 3,000 dead inside Gaza before the hospital was destroyed.
Entire Gaza neighborhoods have been razed and survivors are left with dwindling supplies of food, water and fuel, unable to flee the 40-kilometer long strip that has been blockaded since 2007 by Israel and Egypt.
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group waged a surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying entity.
So far, 3,500 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air raids, including more than 1,000 children and 1,000 women.