'Gaza is laid to waste': UAE calls for investigation into Al Ahli Baptist hospital bombing

'More Palestinians have died in this outbreak of violence than in any other in the history of the conflict'


Sahim Salim

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 10:46 PM

The UAE has called for a full, independent investigation into the bombing of Al Ahli Baptist hospital in Gaza as Israel and Hamas traded blame over the strike that killed hundreds of Palestinians.

The UAE's call came after the US rejected a United Nations Security Council resolution to act on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

“For more than 140 years, the Al Ahli Baptist hospital has provided medical care and shelter for generations of Gazans. Yesterday, more than 500 Palestinians were killed in a strike that hit the hospital,” said Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

She was addressing the Security Council during the UAE’s explanation of its vote for the resolution that was drafted by Brazil.

Gaza is laid to waste, and nobody feels safe, she said. “Each passing hour of this ruinous war makes a mockery of the principles of international humanitarian law."

“As we verify information about the strike, one fact still remains indisputable: More Palestinians have died in this outbreak of violence than in any other in the history of the conflict.”

In less than two weeks, more than 3,500 Palestinians have been killed and over 14,000 injured, “while we continue to sit here and compare the casualties on both sides”.

The UAE supports a full humanitarian ceasefire. “We don’t ask for this to be done at the expense of Israel’s security, but so that people may tend to their wounded, bury their dead in dignity, and begin putting their lives back together,” said the ambassador.

Nusseibeh held held Hamas responsible for “sparking this latest fire that is now engulfing the streets of Arab capitals around the region”. The UAE has openly called the group out for the attacks on October 7 that killed 1,300 Israelis.

“But make no mistake, the kindling was already there, fuelled by decades of violent dehumanisation, dispossession, and despair.

“That is why we cannot, however convenient, lose sight of the context of this crisis – the longest ongoing occupation in the world today of a people that do not wish to be ruled and have been let down again, and again, and again, by all of us,” said Nusseibeh.

Two-state solution

The envoy reiterated the UAE’s call for a two-state solution. The only alternative to this solution is the “violence we see right now”.

The world must recognise that by continuing to fail to respond to the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for a country in their homeland, “we fuel this unrelenting cycle of violence and hatred”.

Referring to the Abraham Accords, she said the UAE established diplomatic relations with Israel because of its belief that peace and dialogue are better than violence and enmity.

“Along with our Israeli and American partners, we sought a new Middle East where co-existence and cooperation deliver prosperity, security, and peace for all."

“The indiscriminate damage visited upon the people of Gaza in pursuit of Israel’s security risks extinguishing that hope. The region is already contending with the spill-over of this crisis, and the enemies of peace are unapologetic about their aims."

“Let us not play into their hands,” said Nusseibeh.


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