The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is horrified and dismayed by the tragic events that unfolded at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in North Gaza on the evening of 17 October 2023. Hospitals are places of help and refuge; they must be protected at all costs. This is not just a moral obligation but also a legal imperative. Hospitals should be sanctuaries for all, where healthcare workers and civilians alike can seek safety and care.
IFRC leadership responds
Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of IFRC, expressed his profound concern, saying,
"I'm horrified and dismayed by what's happened at the Al Ahli Hospital in #Gaza. Hospitals are places of help and refuge. They must be protected. It's a moral and legal imperative."
Secretary General, IFRC
Francesco Rocca, President of IFRC, echoed these sentiments, stating,
“Horrified by what happened at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. The hospital was full of patients and people seeking protection. Civilians, healthcare workers and facilities are protected under international humanitarian law. Even war has rules!”
Call for humanity
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is catastrophic. With hospitals overwhelmed and medicines running out, fuel, water, and food are in short supply. We urge everyone to exercise restraint, adhere to humanitarian law, and protect civilians. We cannot stress this further. Civilian lives must be protected. Hospitals, doctors and nurses must also be protected.
We issued a joint statement from Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC, and Robert Mardini, Director General of the ICRC, on the escalation of hostilities in Israel and Gaza on 14 October 2023. Read the joint statement.
We are also devastated to confirm the deaths of seven members of our network due to the armed hostilities in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Read the statement published on 11 October 2023 (the number was five at the time of the statement).
For real-time updates on the current situation and to gain further insights, we invite you to listen to the latest weekly Red Cross and Red Crescent X (formerly Twitter) Spaces.
For media interviews, please write to [email protected].