Investigation finds U.S.- and U.K.-manufactured weapons were used to bomb British doctors in Gaza’s humanitarian area
03/19/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

A designated safe zone located in the southern Gaza town of Al-Mawasi, where British doctors work for British and American organizations and which had been marked as a protected humanitarian area by the Israeli military was bombed in January.

According to a United Nations investigation, U.S.- and U.K.-manufactured weapons or parts were likely used to bomb the doctors. It also said that the compound, which was not close to any other buildings, was struck around 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 18 by an F-16 jet which "most likely" fired a 1,000-pound "smart bomb.”

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) also said this week that Israeli officials have offered six different explanations as to why the residential compound housing their staff was hit despite the Israeli military giving the British defense attaché assurances that the site was a “de-conflicted” area a month prior to the bombing.

Reports indicate that the attack caused several staff members and a bodyguard non-life-threatening injuries, severely damaged the compound and forced the organizations to stop taking foreign doctors into Gaza as the healthcare system collapsed.

MAP and IRC claimed that Israeli government and military explanations of what happened range from denying involvement, accepting responsibility and asserting that the incident "was a mistake caused by a defective tail fin on the missile that was fired." "It is clear from this experience that the Israeli military and government are either unable or unwilling to properly investigate this serious incident," the organizations said. They have called on Israel's allies to agree to a "full, independent and timebound" investigation into the incident -- and all other reported attacks on "deconflicted" facilities and staff. They also demanded "concrete assurances" that attacks against aid and health workers will not occur in the future.

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"As current suppliers of arms and munitions to Israel, governments such as the U.K. and the U.S. have a particular responsibility to hold Israel accountable for this and other attacks on aid workers and civilians," the organizations also wrote.

Meanwhile, Scottish National Party's spokesperson on foreign affairs, MP Brendan O'Hara said on Thursday that he was "extremely concerned" such an attack could happen again, saying it was "almost inevitable" given the "sense of impunity" with which Israel is acting. "The targeting of protected places such as hospitals, medical facilities or humanitarian compounds constitutes a war crime, and this indiscriminate bombing of a designated safe zone should be investigated as such," O'Hara told the Middle East Eye. "If, as we suspect, those bombs, or the planes which dropped them, were made in the U.K., then I fear that that makes the U.K. complicit."

Moreover, MP Colum Eastwood, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour party, said he and others had been raising serious concerns for months about the U.K.'s arms export licensing regime given the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. "In this case and in others, the response from the British government has been woefully deficient," Eastwood told the news outlet.

Israel "proposes" transfer of 1.4M Palestinian civilians to "humanitarian islands" before the invasion

According to reports, Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that the U.S. government has yet to see an Israeli proposal to "get civilians out of harm's way" in Rafah and ensure shelter, food and medicine. Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that there are plans to push a significant amount of the more than one million displaced Palestinians in Rafah towards "humanitarian islands" in the center of the Gaza Strip in advance of Israel's planned offensive on the city.

The suggested move came after the Israelis hit a UN aid distribution center in Rafah, killing at least one United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) staff member and wounding another 22.

To date, at least 31,272 Palestinians have already been killed and 73,024 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas' initial attack last year stands at 1,139 and dozens continue to be held captive. (Related: FOUR MONTHS of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has killed more children than FOUR YEARS of global conflicts.)

Check out for more updates on the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

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