The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Monday strongly condemning what it said was an Israeli attack on the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital in Gaza.
The Turkish government from 2011 to 2017 funded the construction of the hospital, which has an area of 34,800 square meters comprising six floors and a 180-bed capacity.
On Oct. 7 Hamas militants launched a surprise attack that resulted in the death of 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and the capture of more than 220 hostages, while the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza reports that Israel’s military response has killed over 8,000 people, primarily civilians, including more than 3,500 children.
The foreign ministry’s statement emphasized that all necessary information, including the hospital coordinates, had been shared in advance with Israeli authorities. Saying that the attack was carried out despite this, the ministry said there can be “no explanation” for such an action.
The hospital is the only cancer treatment facility in Gaza.
The only hospital treating cancer patients in Gaza has been hit by an Israeli strike, causing panic & fear among patients & doctors. The Turkish Friendship Hospital runs off a single power generator. Many of Gaza's 9,000 cancer patients rely on it; all their lives are at risk. pic.twitter.com/74Faq4aKNK
— Hind Hassan (@HindHassanNews) October 30, 2023
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the ongoing siege is aimed at depriving the Palestinian people in Gaza of their most basic rights. Such attacks are inhumane and are clear violations of international law, the ministry said. The statement calls for an immediate end to actions that target residents of Gaza indiscriminately.
The ministry’s statement did not specify any immediate actions that Turkey would take in response but made clear that Israel should cease indiscriminately targeting Gaza residents.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel are now at risk of falling to the lows experienced in 2010, when an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship to Gaza resulted in 10 civilian deaths.
Israel said Saturday it was recalling its diplomatic staff from Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a fierce attack on its military operation against Hamas militants in Gaza.
The announcement dealt a body blow to the sides’ nascent efforts to restore political and economic relations after a decade of all but frozen ties.