Netanyahu deletes 'racist' tweet on Palestinian 'children of darkness' after hospital massacre
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday deleted a tweet in which he referenced Palestinians as "children of darkness" in the wake of a reported Israeli airstrike at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, which killed nearly 500 people and caused global outrage.
Prior to the strike, Netanyahu tweeted an extract from a speech he gave in the Israeli Knesset, in which he said Israel’s current war on Gaza was a "struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle".
The post went up on Netanyahu’s X account on Monday afternoon. It was deleted on Tuesday following the strike on the hospital.
🇮🇱🇵🇸 Israel’s Prime Minister just posted, then DELETED this insane tweet calling Palestinians “children of darkness” living by the “law of the jungle.” pic.twitter.com/D0pCB7znhV— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) October 17, 2023
Israel has fiercely and indiscriminately bombarded the Gaza Strip since 7 October, when Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing 1,400 Israelis including civilians and soldiers.
Prior to the Al-Ahli Hospital strike, Israel had flattened entire districts of Gaza in its airstrikes and killed 3,478 Palestinians according to Gaza health officials, most of them women and children.
The Al-Ahli Hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and thousands of Palestinians were taking refuge there when the deadly strike hit.
Israel had previously ordered the evacuation of the hospital but hospital officials said this would be impossible to carry out given the number of seriously ill patients there.
A World Health Organisation official called the attack "unprecedented in scale".
Palestinians in Gaza held Israel responsible for the strike but Israel has claimed that the strike was the result of a rocket accidentally fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Hamas.
Israel had bombed the same hospital a few days before however, after ordering its staff to evacuate, and no rocket fired by Hamas or the PIJ has ever caused this many casualties.