Israel will continue to deny responsibility for Gaza hospital attack: Palestinian ambassador to UN

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN has stated that Israel will deny again and again that it is behind the attack on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which authorities in Gaza say killed at least 500 people and injured hundreds more.

“Israel will deny its responsibility for the massacre … like it did with [Al Jazeera journalist] Shireen Abu Akleh. It will blame the Palestinians for their own death,” Riyad Mansour told the UN Security Council.

His comments come shortly after the US vetoed a resolution that would have condemned violence against all civilians in the Israel-Hamas war and called for a humanitarian pause.

“If anyone thinks this is a situation under control, they are making false and irresponsible assumptions,” Mansour warned.

“This is the kind of war where you know how it starts but you have no clue how it ends. It should be stopped immediately,” he added.

The State of Palestine’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in Geneva has also sent a statement to media organisations challenging the veracity of comments from Israel after the Gaza hospital explosion that killed at least 500 people.

“Anyone with experience monitoring previous Israeli military aggressions against the Palestinian population of Gaza, is appalled, though not surprised, by the wave of disinformation being spewed out by Israel’s propaganda machine regarding the targeting of the Baptist Al Ahli hospital in Gaza,” it said.

“For decades, every time Israel is accused of an atrocity, it resorts to the usual playbook to attempt to cover up its crime: First, it denies its involvement and says that the Palestinians did it to themselves. Then, it quietly admits to having perpetrated it but says that it was not intentional. Then, it claims to be ‘investigating’ the situation while counting on the international community to forget it ever happened. Then, at the next crime, rinse and repeat,” it noted.

“No amount of PR or censorship will be able to cover up the colonial, apartheid nature of Israel, a State that continues to relentlessly commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against a besieged, occupied population,” it added.

The White House has announced US intelligence based on aerial images and intercepted communications shows Israel is not to blame for the attack on the Gaza hospital.

“The US government assesses that Israel was not responsible for an explosion that killed hundreds of civilians yesterday at the Al Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip. Our assessment is based on available reporting, including intelligence, missile activity, and open source video and images of the incident,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated.

“Intelligence indicates that some Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip believed that the explosion was likely caused by an errant rocket or missile launch carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The militants were still investigating what had happened,” he added.

The statement comes after US President Joe Biden told reporters in Israel “based on the information we’ve seen to date, it [the strike] appears as a result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza”.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the armed group named by Israel as behind the hospital carnage, has denied it was responsible.

“The Zionist enemy is trying hard to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre committed by bombing the Baptist Arab National Hospital [al-Ahli Arab Hospital] in Gaza through [its] usual fabrication of lies … We therefore affirm the accusations put forward by the enemy are false and baseless,” it stressed.

Hundreds of people were killed in the blast at the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Israel asserts that the explosion was caused by a Palestinian rocket, while Palestinian officials have blamed Israel.

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