U.N. official calls for investigation into Gaza hospital blast

October 18, 2023

A senior United Nations official on Wednesday called for the U.N. to conduct its own investigation into the explosion at a hospital in Gaza City that killed hundreds of civilians.

“The U.N. will certainly want to do its own investigation….And it should be done very soon and very quickly,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths told CNN.

The explosion occurred Tuesday just as President Biden had been preparing to depart for a trip to the region. He met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, and after meeting with members of  Israel’s cabinet he said he secured an agreement for the “delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza” who are running out of food, water, medicine and shelter due to the Israel-Hamas war that was sparked on October 7 by a surprise Hamas attack on Israel.

Amid questions about the attack on the hospital, Biden was compelled to cancel a follow-up trip to Jordan, where he was set to meet with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

While Hamas and Israel both pointed fingers at the other side of the conflict, on Wednesday morning multiple news outlets were quoting sources who said an independent U.S. assessment pointed to a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket having hit the Gaza hospital.

“International humanitarian law forbids airstrikes on places of civilian objects, civilian infrastructure,” the United Nations’ Griffiths noted on Wednesday, adding that the U.N. was ready to provide humanitarian aid where it’s needed. 

“It’s the safety of aid, which is as important as its dependability. We can do it, because we have the aid, we have the people, we have the trucks, and we certainly have the will,” Griffiths said.

PHOTO: Al Ahli hospital following blast, per Israel-Alma

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