Senior Turkish politicians, including several party leaders, have condemned a deadly airstrike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip that killed at least 500 people, according to Palestinian officials, accusing the Israeli government of carrying out the attack.
Situated in the heart of Gaza, the hospital, managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, was hit on Tuesday when it was overflowing with Palestinians seeking refuge as a result of a series of Israeli aerial assaults throughout the heavily blockaded Gaza Strip.
While the health ministry in Gaza said the blast at the hospital was caused by an Israeli air raid, Israel has attributed the explosion to a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group. The PIJ has denied the allegation.
Meral Akşener, leader of the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party, on Wednesday said during her party’s parliamentary group meeting that the attack was “Netanyahu’s terrorism,” referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “new Hitler of the 21st century.”
“[Netanyahu] is a disgrace to people who have experienced the Holocaust and should be brought to justice immediately. … Every country claiming to uphold civilized values should take a stand against this violence,” the İYİ leader added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also condemned the attack on social media, saying Israel committed a crime against humanity.
“There’s no need to twist words. … This is called murder, it’s a massacre. I condemn it!” Kılıçdaroğlu said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Meanwhile, six political parties in the Turkish Parliament in a joint declaration condemned the hospital attack, according to a report by the ANKA news agency on Wednesday.
The declaration was signed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the CHP, the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the İYİ Party and the Felicity Party (SP).
Expressing disappointment over “Israel’s continued escalation of attacks on the Gaza people in violation of international law and international humanitarian law,” the parties called on world parliaments, the international community and organizations to take a stance and initiative against these attacks.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also condemned the deadly attack on Tuesday, accusing Israel of “striking a hospital sheltering women, children and innocent civilians.”
“I invite all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza,” Erdoğan said in a message on social media.