Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) sharply criticized Israel following the explosion at a hospital in Gaza. The explosion reportedly killed hundreds and led to mass protest, with Israel arguing that a rocket from a Palestinian militant group caused the blast.
Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Party’s “Squad” of socialist representatives, tweeted that “Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that.”
She asked the White House if “this is what happens when you refuse to facilitate a ceasefire % help de-escalate. Your war and destruction only approach has opened my eyes and many Palestinian Americans and Muslims [sic] Americans like me.”
“We will remember where you stood,” she wrote.
Despite Tlaib’s claims and early media coverage of the blast, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) swiftly announced its belief that the explosion was instead caused by a failed launch of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.
The Israeli military wrote that from the “analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit.”
Breaking: IDF Spokesperson
From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit.
According to intelligence information, from several sources we have,…
— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) October 17, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also wrote that the “barbarian terrorists in Gaza are the ones who attacked the hospital in Gaza, not the IDF. He who brutally murdered our children, also murders his children.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) wrote that “bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes. The IDF reportedly blowing up one of the few places the injured and wounded can seek medical treatment and shelter during war is horrific.”
Omar further called for President Joe Biden to “push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter.”
The comments came as mass protests began across the Middle East, condemning Israel. The protesters gathered in Lebanon near the U.S. Embassy, sparking a State Department advisory against traveling to the country.
Protests also broke out in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. A crowd outside the British embassy in Tehran, Iran chanted anti-Western slogans.