Israeli jets strike Turkish-run cancer hospital in Gaza Strip

Israeli jets strike Turkish-run cancer hospital in Gaza Strip
Israeli war jets have damaged the Gaza Strip's only hospital for cancer patients, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, amid Israel's ongoing bombing campaign in Gaza.
3 min read
31 October, 2023
The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital was hit by Israeli jets on Monday [Getty]

The Gaza Strip's only hospital for cancer treatment was damaged after it was struck by Israeli war jets, the hospital's director said Monday.

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital in Gaza was attacked for a second time since Israel's relentless bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip began on 7 October.

The hospital's cancer patients were left in a "state of panic", the hospital's director general, Dr. Subhi Skaik, said on Facebook.

"A state of panic afflicts cancer patients and medical staff as a result of the heavy Israeli bombardment of the only Turkish Friendship Hospital for cancer patients in the Gaza Strip and the infliction of severe damage to it as a result of the Israeli occupation repeatedly targeting its surroundings," Dr Skaik said.

"The [Israeli forces] not only increased the suffering and pain of cancer patients and deprived them of medicines and travel for treatment abroad, but it now endangered their lives by targeting the hospital surroundings," he added. 

In separate comments to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Dr. Skaik said that the Israeli air strikes hit the third floor of the hospital building causing "extensive damage, as a fire broke out in the floor before being contained".

The Israeli bombing damaged some of the electromechanical systems, as well as exposed medical staff and patients alike to danger, he added.

 Israeli forces had repeatedly bombed the vicinity of the hospital in recent days, according to local media reports.

Turkey condemned Israel's attack "in the strongest terms" and emphasised that the targeting of hospitals such as Turkish-Palestinian Friendship and the blockade on Gaza were violations of international law.  

"It is inexplicable for such an attack to take place given all the necessary information, including the coordinates of the institution in question, which is the only cancer hospital in Gaza, was shared with Israeli authorities in advance," Turkey's foreign ministry said in a statement on X

"The siege in Gaza, aimed at depriving the Palestinian people of their most basic rights, and these inhumane attacks, clearly violate international law," the statement added. 

A second hospital, Indonesian Hospital, was also hit by Israel in its immediate surroundings on Monday. 

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the attack led to serious damage and hospitals such as the Indonesian Hospital, as well as houses and places of worship, were repeatedly targeted since the start of Israel's war on Gaza on October 7.  

"The Israeli attack endangered the lives of hundreds of injured people, patients, medical personnel, journalists and thousands of displaced people," Gaza Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qudra, said. 

"Under the Geneva Conventions, attacks on hospitals are strictly prohibited," he added. 

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The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital was built by the Turkish government in 2017 and is considered one of the largest hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

The hospital also operates as a full-fledged training centre for doctors, nurses and paramedic staff. 

The Turkish government-funded hospital also works as a research hospital, where the faculty of medicine of the Islamic University of Gaza are based. 

Israeli forces extended their air and ground attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip - which has been under heavy bombardment since Hamas’ surprise offensive on Israel on 7 October. 

The Palestinian death toll has surpassed 8,525, according to Gaza's health ministry - including at least 3,500 children.