Thursday, June 20, 2024

US should prove who caused Gaza hospital tragedy: Lavrov

The US could publish satellite images of Gaza taken during a deadly strike on one of its hospitals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. The high-profile tragedy that took place earlier this week saw Palestinian militant groups and the Israeli military trading blame for the incident. America could clear this situation up if it wanted to, the Russian diplomat believes.

“Now, when everyone is talking about the Gaza tragedy, in which a hospital was attacked and hundreds of people died … one could ask the Americans for the satellite data,” Lavrov told Russia 1, adding that Washington “must surely be monitoring this area with its satellites.”

“An attack like this could not have gone unnoticed,” the minister said, adding that a goodwill move on the part of the US could make the world a “calmer place.” Lavrov criticized US officials for focusing their attention on Moscow’s dealings with Pyongyang instead.

Earlier this week, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed that North Korea had supposedly sent around 1,000 containers of “equipment and munitions” to Russia between early September and early October.

A London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank published what it called satellite images allegedly proving Russia had received munitions from North Korea. According to RUSI, the photos were specifically taken by a US-based private company, Planet Labs, which owns a fleet of satellites equipped with powerful telescopes and cameras.

The same company pictured the Israeli heavy equipment deployed to Gaza’s northern border, according to several media reports published this week. AP reported on Friday that another US-based company, Maxar Technologies, had taken satellite images of the aftermath of the Israeli strikes on Gaza.

Iran’s Tasnim news outlet claimed in its exclusive report on Tuesday that the US and France had been helping the Israeli military by providing imagery taken by a total of 27 satellites monitoring Gaza from the early stages of West Jerusalem’s operation against Hamas.

The strike on the hospital in question took place late on Tuesday and killed around 500 people, according to Gaza health officials. Many Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Türkiye, and Jordan, have blamed the Israeli military for bombing the health facility.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has strongly denied responsibility, claiming the strike came from a failed rocket launched by Islamic Jihad. Washington supported West Jerusalem by also blaming Palestinian militants.

Russia has demanded a thorough and impartial investigation that would bring all those responsible to justice.

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