Beirut, Oct 18 (EFE).- Lebanon and Syria on Wednesday began three days of official mourning for the hundreds of victims of the Gaza hospital bombing that has sparked uproar in the region.
The Syrian government said flags would be flown at half-mast throughout the country and all embassies and diplomatic missions “over the innocent victims who died in attack by the Zionist criminal forces that targeted al-Mamdani Hospital in Gaza Strip in sisterly Palestine,” according to state news outlet Sana.
In Lebanon, in addition to its mourning period, Education Minister Abbas al-Halabi also ordered the closure of schools, institutes and universities to denounce the incident as “a stain on the face of humanity and the silent countries that stand by while people are annihilated, patients and civilians are killed, even on their sickbeds.”
Public Health Minister Firas Abiad requested that all ministry employees, hospitals and health institutions in Lebanon observe a minute of silence at noon “in denouncement” of the hospital bombing.
After several spontaneous protests overnight in the Mediterranean country, various organizations, including the Shiite group Hezbollah, have called for demonstrations on Wednesday at venues such as the US Embassy in Awkar, east of Beirut.
Hezbollah also announced that at dawn its fighters “directly” hit an Israeli Merkava tank at the Raheb military post, in the north of the Jewish State.
In the statement, Hezbollah claimed to have inflicted casualties among the vehicle’s occupants, without further details.
The Israeli Army said early in the morning that it had received information about anti-tank fire in the border areas and that they responded with artillery fire against the points of origin of the attack.
It was the first action by the Lebanese group since it reacted to the Gaza hospital bombing on Tuesday night, saying “all statements of condemnation and denunciation are no longer sufficient” and calling for residents to take immediate actions in the streets to put pressure on the international community.
It called for Wednesday to be “an unprecedented day of rage against the enemy and its crimes.”
Hamas blames the blast at the Gaza City hospital on an Israeli air strike, while the Israeli military has blamed a rocket misfired by another Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad. EFE