Hundreds of people were allegedly killed by an Israeli airstrike on a hospital in the Palestinian territory on Tuesday, according to a representative of Gaza’s health ministry; Israel denied responsibility, claiming that a Palestinian barrage was to fault for the explosion.
The number of fatalities during the most recent unrest in Gaza was by far the highest during any single occurrence. As a response, demonstrations were launched in Amman, Istanbul, and the West Bank under occupation.
The Palestinian Authority’s minister of health, Mai Alkaila, accused Israel of conducting “a massacre” in Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital. In the incident, which occurred during Israel’s horrific 11-day bombing of Gaza, hundreds of civilians were killed.
Early on Wednesday, Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesman for the health ministry, reported that hundreds had perished and that rescuers were still extricating bodies from the rubble. Following the explosion, the head of Gaza’s civil defence first stated that 300 people had died, while later estimates from the health ministry put that number at 500.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli military, informed reporters that at the time of the attack, rockets fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group passed by the hospital and struck its parking lot.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, another spokesman, told CNN that the military had overheard insurgents admitting to a misfire. He promised to provide a recording of the conversation from the military.
Islamic Jihad denied that any of its missiles were responsible for the hospital explosion and claimed that at the time it had no presence in or around Gaza City. Islamic Jihad, which is supported by Iran, participated in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that was spearheaded by Hamas and has launched countless rocket salvos into Israel.
On the eve of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Israel, news of the hospital strike and high death toll provoked outrage from several nations. Conflicts broke out in the West Bank after Russia and the United Arab Emirates demanded a U.N. Security Council meeting.
Israeli forces attacked one of the UN’s schools on Tuesday, according to the UN, where at least 4,000 people were seeking refuge.
STRIKE DRAWS CONDEMNATION:
In response to the explosion at the hospital and the deaths, Biden expressed his “outrage and profound sadness.” In a statement, he claimed that after speaking with the Jordanian and Israeli presidents, he “ordered my national security staff to continue gathering facts on what precisely happened.
Prior to the incident on Tuesday, health officials in Gaza reported that over the course of Israel’s 11-day bombing campaign since Hamas militants attacked Israeli cities on October 7 and murdered more than 1,300 troops and civilians, at least 3,000 Palestinians had been killed.
As a result of the Israeli shelling, displaced Palestinians have resorted to hospitals in an effort to find safety there.
However, amid predictions of an Israeli ground offensive, some fled civilians have begun to return north as the airstrikes have hit targets all throughout the enclave.
The attack on the hospital was deemed “unprecedented in its scale” by the World Health Organisation. It stated that the majority of Gaza’s hospitals were not operating and that there had been 115 attacks on medical institutions on Tuesday.
Since the Hamas attack, Israel has severed all supplies of power, water, food, gasoline, and medication to Gaza, tightening the enclave’s already-existing embargo.
Canada, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Qatar were among the nations that denounced the hospital strike.