Gaza, 4 November 2023 (TDI): Health officials and aid workers in the besieged Gaza Strip confirmed that an Israeli airstrike near al-Shifa Hospital targeted an ambulance convoy, killing 15 people and injuring 60.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed horror over the strike on an ambulance convoy near Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, renewing his call for a humanitarian ceasefire.
He condemned Hamas’s attacks in Israel and emphasized the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages in Gaza. Guterres highlighted the month-long suffering of Gazan civilians, including women and children, urging an end to the violence.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), expressed deep shock upon hearing about the assault on ambulances transporting patients.
According to witnesses, Israel has admitted its involvement in an attack on an ambulance convoy close to Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the enclave.
According to an IDF statement, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that they targeted the ambulance because they believed a Hamas terrorist cell was using it close to their position in the battle zone.
On Friday, Ashraf al-Qudra, a Health Ministry spokesman, revealed, “We notified the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (PRCS) and the entire world that the victims were inside those ambulances.” He emphasized that it was a medical convoy.
The PRCS condemned the attack on the ambulance convoy, including four vehicles from the health ministry and one from the PRCS.
In a statement, the PRCS reported that the ambulance convoy departed Al-Shifa Hospital at 16:05 local time but had to turn back after traveling approximately 4km due to rock obstacles and heavy shelling on al-Rashid, Gaza’s southbound coastal road.
When the convoy was just 1km away from Al-Shifa Hospital, a health ministry ambulance was hit directly by a missile, injuring the crew and patients inside, according to the PRCS.
The other vehicles continued towards the hospital, but an Israeli missile struck the PRCS ambulance only two meters from the hospital gate, resulting in 15 fatalities and 60 injuries, as per the PRCS.