Pro-Israel solidarity rally outside the embassy in Athens (PHOTOS)

Israeli flag at israeli embassy in athens

A solidarity rally in support of Israel occurred outside the country's embassy in Athens.

The event was organised by the Israel-Greece Friendship Association, which calls for "justice for the thousands of innocents who were murdered, but also for the immediate release of the hostages held by Hamas."

Many gathered hold placards of people being held hostage by Hamas. It is noted that vehicular traffic at the site was not interrupted and proceeded normally.

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Israeli flag at israeli embassy in athens

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Image Credit: Proto Thema.

Elsewhere, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has expressed his grief and abhorrence for the bombing by Israel of the hospital in the area of Gaza, ruling New Democracy parliamentary spokesperson Kostantinos Tsiaras said in Parliament's plenary session on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people were likely killed in the blast on Tuesday at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the center of Gaza City, where thousands were sheltering from Israeli strikes, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian officials have blamed Israeli airstrikes for the lethal incident, but Israel has insisted it was not responsible.

In an intervention, Tsiaras noted, "There are so many obvious issues for which our disagreement - on other issues, here in Parliament - should not be reason to shout, which to a large degree creates an issue of impressions and does not determine what we all must obviously accept and highlight."

"It is an entirely different issue when civilians, who bear absolutely no relation to a war, are being hit, compared to all other issues which arise in this long-term conflict in the specific Middle East region," he added.

Meanwhile, opposition PASOK-Movement for Change parliamentary spokesperson Dimitris Mantzos, speaking in parliament on Wednesday, said that the attack against a hospital in Gaza was not only condemned by all but also constituted a war crime.

He also called for a thorough investigation of the causes of what really happened was imperative.

"Palestine is again becoming the theatre of a modern tragedy with unpredictable consequences and risks. Terrorism is condemned. International law provides an inalienable right to self defence. But, war has its own rules," Mantzos said.

"Sacred and inviolable rules that dictate the protection of civilians and the uninterrupted provision of humanitarian aid to people in conflict zones and, of course, the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages that Hamas is holding," he added.

He also pointed out the extreme necessity of lifting the Gaza blockade as regards basic necessities and reopening corridors for humanitarian aid as international organisations, the UN and EU, have repeatedly asked.

"We should not forget that Hamas and Palestine are different things. The Islamic terrorists are not the people who have been deprived of the basic essentials," Mantzos concluded.

In a televised news conference Wednesday, Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari claimed a lack of structural damage at the hospital proved the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were not involved in the explosion.

He claimed IDF intelligence showed that Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a rival Islamist militant group to Hamas in Gaza – caused the explosion when one of its rockets launched at Israel misfired.

Hagari also said the IDF had intelligence of “communications between terrorists” of rockets misfiring, which included mention of the hospital.

Islamic Jihad denied Israel’s assertions describing them as “false and baseless” and claimed it does not use public facilities such as hospitals for military purposes, according to a statement Wednesday.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, described “unparalleled and indescribable” scenes after the blast.

“Ambulance crews are still removing body parts as most of the victims are children and women,” Al-Qudra said. “Doctors were performing surgeries on the ground and in the corridors, some of them without anesthesia.

Greek City Times cannot independently confirm what caused the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital.

READ MORE: Greek living in Gaza: "Christians are sheltering in two monasteries; We don't know how many were killed at the hospital."

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