An explosion at a hospital in Gaza City has resulted in the loss of numerous civilian lives. Hamas has attributed the cause of the explosion to an Israeli airstrike.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was filled with injured Palestinians and individuals seeking refuge when the strike occurred on Tuesday.
The exact number of casualties resulting from the recent attack is yet to be officially verified, however, it is speculated to exceed 500. This unfortunate event could potentially mark the most fatal occurrence since Israel initiated a relentless bombing campaign against Gaza, as a response to the assault launched by Hamas on October 7th.
The Israeli Defense Force categorically refutes any allegations of responsibility for the incident in question. A spokesperson, communicating through the platform formerly known as Twitter and now referred to as X, has stated that the misfiring rocket, which resulted in the incident, can be attributed to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a smaller militant organization operating from the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on X that it is imperative for the global community to be aware of the following: The reprehensible act of attacking the hospital in Gaza was perpetrated by barbaric terrorists from Gaza, and not by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). It is crucial to acknowledge that those who callously took the lives of our innocent children are also responsible for the tragic loss of their own children.
In a statement to the news agency Reuters, Daoud Shehab, the spokesperson for the PIJ, refuted the claim made by the IDF.
He stated, “This assertion is a falsehood and a fabrication, and it is entirely inaccurate. The occupying force is attempting to conceal the appalling atrocity and slaughter they perpetrated against innocent civilians.”
Hamas has characterized the hospital explosion as a “horrific massacre”. In a formal statement, the organization has indicated that the majority of those affected were individuals who had been displaced, patients, children, and women.
In the midst of these events, Ismail Haniyehi, the leader of Hamas, expressed his perspective by stating, “The recent incident at the hospital serves as a stark reminder of the enemy’s ruthless nature and their deep sense of desperation.” He further emphasized that this assault will undoubtedly mark a significant juncture in the ongoing conflict.
The Associated Press has verified a video depicting a hospital engulfed in flames and the surrounding grounds littered with the bodies of numerous individuals, including several young children. This tragic event has garnered condemnation from the global community, resulting in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas withdrawing from a scheduled meeting with Joe Biden.
Mr. Abbas had been slated to participate in a summit alongside Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Jordan on Wednesday. The primary objective of this gathering was to engage in discussions with US President Mr. Biden regarding the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
However, a senior Palestinian official announced on Tuesday evening his decision to withdraw in protest of the purported Israeli airstrike on the hospital. State media reports indicate that Mr. Abbas has declared a period of three days for mourning in response to this incident.
In the interim, a declaration issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation asserts that the ongoing events constitute genocide. The organisation implores the international community to take prompt action to halt this atrocity, emphasizing that silence on the matter is no longer tolerable.
Izzat El-Reshiq, a prominent member of Hamas, conveyed that there have been multiple instances of dismembered and crushed bodies, resulting in a surrounding environment filled with blood.
Mark Regev, the senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel, informed BBC News that Israeli authorities maintain the belief that the explosion at the al-Ahli hospital was caused by a rocket launched by Hamas.
During the tragic events in Gaza, there was a significant barrage of attacks on central Israel. The individual in question reports having heard the siren in Tel Aviv and subsequently sought refuge in a bomb shelter. It has been confirmed that rockets were launched during this time, with Hamas issuing a statement claiming that a long-range rocket was aimed at Haifa in northern Israel. However, it is important to note that no such rocket actually reached its intended destination, raising concerns about its whereabouts and potential impact.
The Red Cross has expressed shock and horror at the situation, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a strong condemnation of the incident. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative for the West Bank and Gaza, has described the attack as unprecedented in scale and highlighted the ongoing issue of healthcare being targeted in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean at the World Health Organization (WHO), has reported that the hospital was occupied by patients, healthcare workers, and internally displaced individuals at the time of the attack. Al-Mandhari further stated that this particular medical facility was among the 20 hospitals in the northern region of the Gaza Strip that had received evacuation orders from the Israeli military.
The execution of the evacuation order has proven to be unfeasible due to the prevailing insecurity, the critical state of numerous patients, and the scarcity of ambulances, personnel, healthcare infrastructure bed availability, as well as alternative accommodations for the displaced individuals, stated the source.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical organization, expressed its profound dismay and characterized the reported attack as an act of mass killing.
“According to reports, a significant number of individuals have lost their lives. This incident can only be described as a massacre, and it is utterly unacceptable,” the organization conveyed through its official communication platform, formerly known as Twitter.
The statement from the Ahli hospital, which is run by the Anglican church, reported a tragic incident that occurred during an operation. MSF doctor Ghassan Abu Sittah, who was present at the time of the explosion, stated that the ceiling collapsed on the operating room, resulting in a catastrophic loss of life. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby expressed his deep sorrow at the loss of innocent lives and reiterated his call for the protection of civilians in this devastating war. In a separate incident, the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA reported that an Israeli air strike had caused the death of at least six individuals at one of its schools, which had been serving as a shelter for displaced persons.
According to health authorities in Gaza, the ongoing bombardment by Israel has resulted in a tragic loss of at least 3,000 lives. This devastating situation unfolded after Hamas militants launched a violent attack on Israeli towns and kibbutzes on October 7, claiming the lives of over 1,300 individuals, predominantly innocent civilians.
Amidst this escalating violence, the United States announced that President Joe Biden would be visiting Israel on Wednesday to demonstrate unwavering support for its efforts in combating Hamas.
In the midst of growing concerns surrounding the crisis in the region, there are reports indicating that Rishi Sunak may also visit Israel as early as Thursday. It is believed that the Prime Minister could potentially undertake a broader trip to the region, encompassing visits to Jordan and Egypt, as reported by Sky News.
Israel’s air strikes in Gaza have caused significant destruction, displacing half of the population and imposing a complete blockade that limits access to essential resources. The situation is critical, with low water and food supplies and hospitals facing a fuel depletion within 24 hours, putting injured patients at risk. Aid agencies have issued warnings for urgent assistance. Over a million Palestinians have fled their homes, with 60% seeking refuge in the eight-mile area south of the evacuation zone, according to the UN.