A Gaza Strip hospital affiliated with the Palestinian group Hamas was struck by an explosive on October 17, resulting in the deaths of numerous individuals, including civilians. The Gaza Health Ministry alleges that the incident was a deliberate airstrike by the Israeli military, while the Israel Defense Forces attribute the attack to Hamas. Initial reports suggested around 500 casualties at the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, but Israel and external observers contest this, asserting that the actual death toll was considerably lower.
Various media organizations sought the Israel Defense Forces’ response regarding the incident in Gaza City. The IDF, in an official statement, indicated that it was in the process of examining the origin of the explosion that resulted in damage to certain structures on the hospital premises. They also clarified that this facility, being a highly sensitive structure, was not an intentional target for the IDF.
Several hours later, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported the completion of their investigation into the origins of the airstrike. According to their analysis of operational data, they determined that the explosion resulted from a rocket barrage launched by militant groups. Nevertheless, not everyone was persuaded by these findings.
US Michigan Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib took to her Twitter account, alleging that the Israeli government was responsible for the hospital strike and contending that it led to the loss of 500 Palestinian lives. She further asserted that President Biden should acknowledge this as a consequence of rejecting a ceasefire agreement.
On Wednesday, October 18, Tlaib addressed a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered at the Washington DC Capitol, reaffirming her criticism of Israel and advocating for a ceasefire. While speaking, the Representative accused Israel of suppressing Palestinians and committing violations of human rights.
Ilhan Omar, another member of the ‘Squad’ and representing Minnesota (D-MN), also made provocative remarks against Israel, alleging that the country had carried out airstrikes on the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.
In reaction to this, former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (R-NY) released a statement urging House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to initiate ethics investigations into Tlaib and Omar. They asserted that Hakeem had a chance to demonstrate that the Democratic party is not hostile to Israel, and probing the actions of these two individuals was a means to accomplish that.