In the evening (Israel local time) of Tuesday, October 17, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza claimed that an Israeli airstrike hit Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, killing hundreds of civilians. An initial response from the IDF stated that the incident was under review; later, the IDF shared videos, images, and intelligence materials demonstrating that an Islamic Jihad rocket had failed to launch properly (i.e. target Israeli civilians) and instead hit the hospital parking lot. President Biden acknowledged this conclusion. 

Many NGOs immediately adopted the Hamas narrative of Israeli culpability, even though there was no evidence to support it. Certainly, the NGO statements came too quickly to have conducted even a rudimentary investigation and without any attempt to verify the circumstances surrounding the incident. No NGO called into question the veracity of a claim, from a genocidal terror-run institution, that it would be possible within minutes of the night-time incident to document that hundreds had been killed.

The irresponsible responses reflect three central dimensions of the NGO role in armed conflicts involving Israel. First, as part of their wider anti-Israel campaigns, NGOs constantly seek opportunities to demonize Israel and promote Palestinian victimization myths. Attaching a horrific mass casualty incident to Israel – regardless of proof – would be a major advance in their obsessive political war against the Jewish state. 

Second, the UN and other international actors rely extensively on NGOs to reinforce narratives and provide ostensible evidence and testimonies regarding events. As with numerous previous incidents featuring misreporting by the same network of NGOs, the statements on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital demonstrate their lack of credibility. To be sure, this will not stop the UN from impugning its own reports by copying the NGOs. 

Third, this incident reflects the abject failure of the humanitarian aid framework in Gaza and the need for a systematic independent investigation. For years, UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs turned a blind eye to terror actors’ diversion of humanitarian aid to produce rockets, build terror tunnels and other instruments, and to personally enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Gazans. The UN and NGO community have ignored, and in many cases, openly covered up the embedding and co-locating of Hamas weaponry within civilian infrastructure like schools, mosques, and hospitals. Their complicity in crimes against humanity is immoral, has entrenched the conflict, and further endangered millions of Palestinians and Israelis.

NGO Statements (all from night of Oct 17-18)

European Government Funded NGOs linked to the PFLP terror organization

Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
Al Mezan
Al Awda Health and Community Association

Additional European government funded NGOs

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders)
Viva Salud
World Council of Churches (WCC)
Norwegian Refugee Council
EuroMed Rights

US-Based NGOs

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
Adalah Justice Project
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)


Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Ken Roth/Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Sadaka Ireland
War on Want
Good Shepherd Collective

European Government Funded NGOs linked to the PFLP terror organization

Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) (Funded by EU, Italy, Switzerland)

  • Tweet: “Dr Mustafa Barghouti: #Israeli jet fighters shelled the Baptist hospital in #Gaza killing over 500 #Palestinians and injuring hundreds of  civilians. World leaders must condemn these atrocities and exercise immediate pressures on Israel to stop the genocide of Palestinians.” (In the evening of Oct 18, well after evidence had emerged showing Islamic Jihad’s responsibility, PNGO posted to Facebook a statement blaming Israel and repeating the Hamas casualty claims.)

Al-Haq (Funded by Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark, UN agencies)

  • Tweet: “Our FA Investigative Unit geolocated earlier footage of the Israeli attack on the #Ahlihospital in #Gaza-  it shows the front yard of the hospital in flames. The killing of Palestinians in #Gaza with intent to destroy the Palestinian people as a group may mount to #Genocide…Nowhere is safe in #Gaza The Ahli Hospital in Northern Gaza – a hospital which was treating and sheltering thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians. Hundreds are feared to be dead. The targeting of hospitals is a #warcrime. #EndIsraeliImpunity

Al Mezan (Funded by Sweden, EU, Netherlands)

  • Tweet: “🚨BREAKING: ISRAEL BOMBED THE AL-AHLI ARAB HOSPITAL IN #GAZA CITY.  According to the Ministry of Health, the attack killed 200 to 300 Palestinians. Hundreds are still under the rubbles. And the international community watches in silence!”
  • Tweet: “The death toll has already risen to over 500 Palestinians killed, including staff, patients and civilians who took refuge inside the hospital following Israel’s ‘evacuation order’. Five hundred Palestinian lives wiped out by a single Israeli attack.”

Al Awda Health and Community Association (formerly Union of Health Work Committees – UHWC) (Funded by Spain, Belgium, NGO Development Center) 

  • Statement: “In a related context, the occupation sought to neutralize the health system from work and distance it from its national, humanitarian and health role through the threat of eviction and targeting, in an effort to exacerbate the humanitarian situation and put pressure on the defenseless civilian population in the Gaza Strip, leading to the direct targeting of health facilities and objects, as the targeting operations extended to medical personnel, ambulances, hospitals and health centres, leading to the direct targeting of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital “Al-Baptist” facility, killing more than (500) according to initial estimates, and injuring thousands of unarmed civilians who took shelter in this facility in search of security and safety in light of the procedures and targeting. Criminal.”

Additional European government funded NGOs

MIFTAH (Funded by Switzerland, EU, Norway, Ireland)

  • Tweet: “Palestinian children were playing and cleaning the hospital before Israel bombed it tonight and massacred over 500 people seeking refuge and wounded patients. If not now, when will the world intervene to stop the #GazaGenocide?”

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) (Funded by France, Italy, EU, Sweden)

  • Statement on Facebook: “At the time of writing, PMRS has in the last hour learned of the Baptist Hospital in Gaza being bombed. It has been confirmed that over 500 have been killed and hundreds more injured. The act of attacking a hospital or any healthcare infrastructure or personnel is a grave violation of international law and can constitute a war crime under article 8 of the Geneva Convention.” According to the statement, “There can be no justification for the slaughtering of over 1000 children. There is no justification for withholding of humanitarian aid or bombing the road to be used for said aid to reach millions of Palestinians in Gaza. There can never be a justification for genocide.”

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders)(Funded by Canada, Switzerland, UN agencies)

  • Tweet: “We are horrified by the recent Israeli bombing of Ahli Arab Hospital in #Gaza City, which was treating patients and hosting displaced Gazans. Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed. This is a massacre. It is absolutely unacceptable…”

Viva Salud (Funded by Belgium)

  • Statement: “On Tuesday night, 17 October, the Israeli army bombed the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City. The rocket attack killed more than 500 people and wounded hundreds of others. According to a doctor who survived the attack, four thousand people had hoped to find safe shelter in the hospital from Israeli rocket attacks on nearby residential areas.”

World Council of Churches (Funded by Norway, Switzerland, Germany, EU)

  • Statement: WCC outraged with news of Israeli attack on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza; calls for a new reality based on justice and human dignity…The international community must hold Israel accountable for the crimes committed against civilians.

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) (Funded byEU, Germany, UK, Norway, Sweden, UN agencies)

  • Tweet by NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland: Numerous reports of hundreds killed at the Baptist Hospital in Gaza. Women & children sought refuge here. Attacks at hospitals are war crimes. If true, the US cannot support Israel’s military campaign. There is no distinction, precaution nor proportionality, as the law requires.

EuroMed Rights (Funded by EU, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland)

  • Tweet: “The bombing of Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in #Gaza is a horrific crime that requires unequivocal condemnation. The int’ community/EU must act swiftly to safeguard innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza from the ongoing atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli occupying forces.”

US-Based NGOs

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) (Funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tides Foundation)

  • Statement: “Today the Israeli military bombed the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza killing at least 500 Palestinians.. Bombing hospitals and UN shelters – which are designated safe spaces – is one of the gravest violations of International Humanitarian Law… Bombing hospitals is an act of collective punishment. The Israeli military must be condemned for this horrific civilian attack.”

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)

  • Tweet:  “Right before Israel bombed al Ahli hospital, killing over 500 Palestinians, they obliterated another UN school that sheltered Palestinians fleeing their homes from the North, as well as those whose homes had been destroyed by Israeli bombardments. #GazaUnderAttack”
  • Tweet: “Today, Israeli forces bombed al Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital in northern Gaza. At least 500 of the wounded patients, doctors, nurses, and those taking shelter were massacred. It is expected to be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008… The Biden administration must immediately disassociate from Israel’s war crimes, and do everything in its power to bring an end to Israel’s genocide of the people of Gaza.”

Adalah Justice Project (Funded by Tides Center, Rockefeller Brothers Fund)

  • Tweeted, “🔔 ACTION ALERT! 🔔Over 500 Palestinians have been tragically killed in an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza. As Israel’s devastating assault continues, @POTUS plans to attend an Israeli war cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. We cannot stand idle by.” 
  • Petition demanding “President Biden not attend the Israeli Cabinet War Meeting & Call for Ceasefire Now”: “Over 500 Palestinians were just killed in an Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza. While we’re watching Israel bring its genocidal rhetoric into action, President Biden will attend an Israeli war cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.”

CODEPINK (Funded by Tides Foundation)

  • Tweet: “500+ patients, doctors, nurses, and refugees killed by an Israeli airstrike on a hospital. Israel is indefensible.”

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) (Funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tides Foundation)

  • Tweet: “The Israeli military just bombed Al-Ahli hospital, where refugees in Gaza were sheltering after being displaced. Over 500 people killed in an instant. These atrocities must stop. This is genocide. CEASEFIRE NOW!”


Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) (Funded by Open Society Foundations)

  • Tweet: “The Israeli bombing of #The Baptist_hospital in #Gaza is a new #war_crime and it requires a stop to international complicity with Israel’s crimes #against_humanity against #civilians”

Ken Roth/Human Rights Watch (HRW)

  • Tweet: “The Gaza Health Ministry said an Israeli airstrike…hit a Gaza City hospital packed w/ wounded & other Palestinians seeking shelter, killing hundreds. If confirmed, the attack would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in 5 wars fought since 2008.”

Medical Aid for Palestinians (Funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, UN agencies)

  • Tweet: “Medical Aid for Palestinians is horrified by a reported Israeli airstrike on Al Ahli Hospital in #Gaza, and the death and destruction to hundreds of innocent lives that it has caused… and demand justice for the victims. The bombing of a hospital is an unconscionable, cruel and illegal act for which there must be accountability…MAP has warned over many years that the blanket impunity that exists for attacks on Palestinian healthcare would lead only to more and deadlier violations against health facilities and workers. Today we witness the cost of the world’s inaction. Enough is enough.” 

Sadaka Ireland

  • Tweet: “That’s a school and a hospital bombed by #Israel in a few hours.  #Gaza_Genocide”

War on Want (Funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Open Society Foundations)

  • Twitter thread: “Shocking reports that between 500 to 1000 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike on a British church run hospital 1/ Killing patients, health workers & countless Palestinians sheltering from Israel’s bombing is a war crime. 2/”

Good Shepherd Collective

  • Tweet: “NOW: Israeli forces are openly bombarding hospitals with air strikes now, targeting the Baptist hospital/al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza. Hundreds are reported to be martyred or injured. These are patients, doctors, nurses, janitors, and other medical workers sheltering and working who were murdered in cold blood.”
  • Tweet: “Dismembered bodies of Palestinian martyrs outside of Baptist/Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza. Reports from the ground approximate 500 murdered by the Israeli airstrike. Many, in addition to patients and hospital staff, were Palestinians taking shelter at the Christian hospital.”
  • Tweet: “Israeli sources are reporting that they don’t know anything. This is an attempt to spread misinformation, creating doubt when it is obvious to anyone with any knowledge of the situation that there is only 1 military that would or could have bombed a hospital in Gaza.”
  • Tweet: “In Jenin, as Palestinians took to the streets a moment ago to demonstrate in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and in reaction to the mass murder by Israeli forces tonight at Al Ahli Arab hospital, PA forces opened fire at them.“
  • Tweet reply to Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that a terrorist group attacked the hospital: “The only requirement to be a Zionist is an compromising (sic) dedication to habitually lie.”