The following is an article the Cuban daily Granma published on October 17, 2023. It reports on the Cuban government’s condemnation of the bombing of the Al Ahli hospital in the Gaza Strip that killed more than 500 people.
Palestinian authorities said Israel carried out the devastating airstrike as part of its nonstop bombing of Gaza, which constitutes a collective punishment of the Palestinian population in response to the October 7 murderous attacks by Hamas that largely targeted civilians in Israel. Tel Aviv has denied responsibility and is blaming the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad for the hospital blast.
The Granma article also describes the Cuban government’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and throughout the territories occupied by Israel.
On October 18, the U.S. government vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for pauses in the conflict between Israel and Hamas to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip. Twelve of the 15 member states of the UN Security Council voted in favor of the Brazilian-drafted resolution, while two — Britain and Russia — abstained.
Two days earlier, a Russian-drafted resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire failed to pass with five votes in favor, four against, and six abstentions. Passage requires at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the council’s permanent members: Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States.
The article below appeared under the headline “A bombed-out hospital and a ‘no’ to calls for a ceasefire.” The original in Spanish can be found here. The title and translation are by World-Outlook.
A bombed-out hospital and a ‘no’ to calls for a ceasefire
Shortly after four countries vetoed a ceasefire initiative on Palestine at the UN Security Council, some 600 civilians were killed by an Israeli attack on a hospital in Gaza.
Two almost simultaneous pieces of news reveal an instance of the highest irrationality and of the criminal levers that propel the aggression against Palestine: while at the UN Security Council the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan vetoed a draft resolution proposed by Russia for a ceasefire, a bomb attack on a hospital in Gaza left more than 600 dead and hundreds wounded.
The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, condemned in X [formerly Twitter] the Israeli action against the Al Ahli hospital: “We demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to these flagrant violations of International Humanitarian Law.”
Examples like this speak of the criminal double standards of the occupying power, and of how that UN body has become a hostage of the West, turning its back once again on the possibility of providing the most essential guarantees so that people, children and women among them do not continue to die, so that a dialogue for peace can take place.
On the holocaust taking place in Palestinian territory, the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory, quoted by RT, offered some figures: “The Israeli army has dropped more than 10,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip in one week, twice as many as the US dropped in Afghanistan in an entire year.”
The Israeli Armed Forces have dropped munitions equivalent to a quarter of a nuclear bomb, killing some 14 Palestinians every hour, destroying at least 2,650 homes, and causing serious damage to some 70,000 more. At the same time, at least 71 schools, 145 industrial facilities, 61 media headquarters and 18 mosques were demolished.
Cuba at the UN: Ceasefire is urgently needed
The Prensa Latina news agency reported that at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, Cuba reaffirmed its urgent call to end hostilities in Gaza and allow the entry of humanitarian assistance.
In a debate on the sovereignty of Palestine, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Gerardo Peñalver, once again expressed the island’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and expressed his deep concern at the current escalation of violence.
Peñalver warned that the violence will only lead to an increase in tensions and worsen the suffering of the civilian population. He stated that the current situation must be stopped because, if it continues, the international community will be a passive witness to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
The Cuban diplomat stressed that the current context is the result of decades of illegal occupation and colonization by Israel, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in their own land.
It also condemned the loss of civilian and innocent lives, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or religious affiliation; the killing of women, children, and United Nations humanitarian workers; the destruction of homes, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure; as well as the deprivation of essential services, such as access to water, electricity, and fuel. “These actions represent serious violations of international humanitarian law and must cease immediately.”
The also permanent representative of Cuba to the UN supported the Syrian government’s demand to recover the Golan Heights, which were seized by Israel in 1967, and reaffirmed the importance of a total and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from that area and from all occupied Arab territories, with the aim of achieving a just and lasting solution in the region.