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UN Secretary-General António Guterres reacts strongly to the Israeli attack on a convoy of ambulances in Gaza on Friday. And the climate between the UN and Israel is getting increasingly frosty.
“I am horrified by the reported attack on an ambulance convoy outside al-Shifa Hospital. The images of bodies scattered on the street outside the hospital are shocking,” Guterres commented in a statement, according to AFP.
At the same time, Guterres emphasizes that he has not forgotten Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7, which started the war.
Israel has confirmed an attack on an ambulance but claims the ambulance it targeted was used by Hamas.
– Our units saw that ambulances were being used to drive around Hamas terrorists, we perceived a threat and attacked, says a spokesperson for the Israeli military (IDF) Jonathan Conricus, to CNN.
Not the first time
It is not the first time that Hamas uses ambulances as taxis, it was done in 2014 and it is being done now again, claims Conricus. If they are used in that way and pose a threat, Israel has the right to strike against them, according to him.
An AFP journalist at the scene of the attack saw several bodies lying on the street next to the destroyed ambulance next to the hospital, which is overflowing with wounded and people seeking shelter from Israeli bombing.
The head of the World Health Organization, the UN agency WHO, spoke before Guterres and said he was deeply shocked by the attack.
“We repeat: patients, healthcare staff, premises and ambulances must be protected. Always.” highlighted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a post on the social media platform X.
But Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan rages against the WHO chief’s statement and accuses him of using double standards, without stopping.
“Were you there? Did you ensure that Hamas terrorists did not use the ambulance for terror? They did!” reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz Erdan’s reaction.
“You take every opportunity that arises to condemn Israel, but remain silent when Hamas deliberately fires rockets at the Barzialai hospital in Ashkelon”, continues Gilad Erdan, wondering where the WHO director was staying when “Hamas-Nazis” murdered Israeli medics and shot at ambulances.