A Glimpse into the Massacre of the Baptist Hospital
As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a tranquil orange glow over the Baptist Hospital, the people of Gaza prepared for another night of uncertainty. The ceaseless Israeli aggression on Gaza had left their lives hanging by a thread. Little did they know that the night of Tuesday would become a night of indescribable horror that would forever haunt their collective memory.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza had arranged a press conference amid the makeshift morgue in the Baptist Hospital yard. A chilling silence enveloped the crowd of medical professionals and onlookers, as they gathered in the shadow of tragedy. The surroundings of the hospital had been subjected to a merciless Israeli shelling, claiming the lives of over 500 innocent souls. Among the casualties, most heartbreakingly, were children and women, their features lost in the brutality of the Israeli war.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Health stood before the ashen faces of the gathered crowd. His voice trembled as he described the unspeakable horror. “The massacre of the Baptist Hospital is unparalleled, and cannot be described,” he choked out, his words barely a whisper in the face of such devastation.
Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta, a physician with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), recalled the horrifying moment the hospital was attacked. “We were in the middle of surgery at the Baptist Hospital when there was a deafening explosion. The roof caved in, and we found ourselves in a macabre scene,” he recounted. “This is a massacre,” he concluded, his eyes filled with tears, mirroring the grief of the crowd.
During the conference, medical staff members stood amidst the lifeless bodies of martyrs, their faces etched with sorrow and disbelief. One of them cradled the tiny, lifeless form of an infant, while another gently held the body of a child, their innocence forever lost to the Israeli attack.
These innocent souls had been forced to the hospital under the weight of threats and calls from the Israeli occupation forces to evacuate their homes, in a sinister plan to displace them.
The question loomed large during the press conference: Why wasn’t the hospital evacuated? Yousef Abu al-Rish, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, raised his voice amid the grief-stricken silence, “We are facing a great grievance. The Israeli occupation had committed 400 massacres against families in Gaza before this one.”
He continued, “The Israeli occupation shelled the Baptist Hospital with two shells on October 14th, damaging it. The Israeli occupation claimed these shells were a warning. But why was the hospital not evacuated?” The hospital’s administration had tried to seek help and assurances, even reaching out to international institutions, but the Israeli occupation showed no restraint.
Abu al-Rish described the horrific aftermath, “After the crime, the emergency department was alerted, and what I witnessed, I can never erase from my memory. I saw children whose stomachs were cut open, and their heads amputated. This brutality surpasses all imagination.”
Despite the heinous act, the Israeli aggression did not stop there. The European Gaza Hospital, located in the vicinity, was also targeted.
Abu al-Rish, his voice breaking, issued a heart-wrenching plea to the world. “We appeal to the free world to halt the Israeli occupation’s relentless bombing of peaceful civilians, and to prevent further suffering for our grieving people.”
The international community has responded with strong condemnation of the hospital bombing, calling for urgent international protection for the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
The night at the Baptist Hospital serves as a reminder of the relentless brutality of war, where innocent lives, especially those of children and women, are often the tragic casualties of a conflict without end. In the midst of the ruins, the resilient spirit of the Palestinian people endures, and the call for justice and peace grows louder, echoing through the ruins of their lives.