November 17, 2023 10:48 am | Updated November 18, 2023 06:20 pm IST – San Francisco
The United States on November 17 said it had “deep concern” over a strike on a Jordanian military hospital in Gaza that wounded seven people, voicing opposition to hitting health facilities, but without directly blaming Israel.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi “to share his deep concern for the Jordanian medical personnel injured outside the Jordanian Field Hospital while providing critical medical care in Gaza,” the State Department said.
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Mr. Blinken, who was attending an Asia-Pacific summit in San Francisco, “reiterated that civilians and medical personnel at hospitals must be protected,” a statement said.
Earlier in Washington, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said: “We don’t want to see hospitals struck from the air.”
“We reiterate the obligations under international humanitarian law for all parties to take key precautions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and all possible steps to mitigate civilian harm,” Mr. Miller told reporters. Neither Mr. Miller nor the statement explicitly condemned the strike or said who was responsible. Jordan said that “Israeli bombing” close to the hospital injured seven of its staff.
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said it was awaiting the results of an investigation to “take the necessary legal and political steps against this heinous crime.” The Arab League also condemned the strike.
Washington, which provides significant military aid to Israel, has given unwavering support to its top Middle East ally since the October 7 attack by Hamas, saying Israel has the right to defend itself.
However, the U.S. side has started voicing concerns over the methods of Israel’s military operations and the high number of Palestinian civilian deaths.