This week, the Israeli military withdrew from the al-Shifa hospital complex after a two-week raid. The footage coming out from the area shows absolute destruction, rendering the hospital, and much of the surrounding residential neighbourhood in complete ruins. Eye-witnesses tell of a hellscape, civilians and patients in critical condition being held hostage without food or water, bodies run over by tanks and left to decompose, and hundreds executed with their hands zip-tied behind their backs. The horrors are incomprehensible. 

On the same day that reports started to emerge from the al-Shifa massacre, Israel murdered seven humanitarian aid workers from World Central Kitchen who had just left a warehouse after serving food to Palestinians in Deir al Balah, in the middle region of Gaza. 

Israeli authorities were quick to express sorrow for the “unintended” strike resulting in their deaths. It is important to note that this incident has been mostly reported as a strike, and fails to mention that it was a convoy of three trucks: when the first was hit, the survivors joined the second car which was also targeted so survivors then retreated to the third car that was ultimately eliminated. The World Central Kitchen has stated that the air workers were moving in a deconflicted zone after rigorous coordination with the Israeli military which included sharing coordinates. How could this be a mistake? And at what point will Israeli decision-makers be held accountable for these repeated ‘mistakes’? It seems never, as the United States continues to send bombs and blessings, allowing Israel to investigate itself. 

The media storm that ensued on Monday was much larger than any story that covered the 189 aid workers murdered since 7 October because six of the seven were passport holders of British, Polish, Australian, and US/Canadian citizenship. It is another stark reminder that white bodies are more valuable than Palestinians. Imagine, after Israel has murdered 33,000 Palestinians, they must hold up the passports of foreign aid workers to the camera, asking, “Do you see us now?” 

There have been weak attempts by US and UK governments to scold Israel for its carelessness and a soft push towards increasing aid from the Erez crossing now that ships carrying aid to Gaza have turned back to Cyprus after the attack.

But was it careless? Because it seems we’ve stopped talking about al-Shifa in the meantime.

Picture of Hannah Redekop

Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

Send Hannah a note: peacemakers@cpt.org

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