Hundreds of Palestinians were killed in an explosion at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday, according to officials in the Hamas-controlled territory who said it was the result of an Israeli airstrike. Israel’s army said the hospital was hit in a failed missile attack by Palestinian militants.
(Bloomberg) — Hundreds of Palestinians were killed in an explosion at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday, according to officials in the Hamas-controlled territory who said it was the result of an Israeli airstrike. Israel’s army said the hospital was hit in a failed missile attack by Palestinian militants.
The Gaza Health Ministry said that at least 200 people died. Officials from the ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory told Al Jazeera television that the toll is 500, which would make it the deadliest attack since the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel.
The Israeli military said the hospital was hit in an attempted missile strike by a Gaza-based militant group. “The Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed launch that hit the hospital,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, citing intelligence from several sources.
Turkey and Egypt were among countries to condemn the attack and blame Israel for it. The Pentagon said it didn’t immediately have information about who was responsible.
Israel has been bombing Gaza and preparing its forces for a potential ground invasion as it seeks to crush Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US and European Union. Global leaders are stepping up diplomatic efforts to prevent an escalation in the war, amid fear that Iran and other Hamas allies may be drawn in. US President Joe Biden is due to depart for Israel later on Tuesday.
The Anglican-run Al-Ahli Arab Hospital was housing thousands of displaced Palestinians who fled the Israeli bombing in east Gaza City. Hamas said it fired a long-range rocket toward Israel’s north in response to the bombing at Al-Ahli hospital.
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority which controls the West Bank — the largest Palestinian territory — declared three days of mourning after the hospital blast. Abbas canceled a planned meeting with Biden on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. Hundreds of Palestinians in Jenin took to the streets in protest.
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Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned what it said was an Israeli airstrike on the hospital as a violation of international law. It also called on Israel to stop airstrikes near the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, where thousands of Palestinians have fled to escape bombing further north in the territory. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned Israel.
The US doesn’t have “all the facts” about what happened at the Gaza hospital where officials in the Hamas-controlled territory say hundreds were killed by an Israeli airstrike, said Pentagon Deputy Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh.
–With assistance from Zaid Sabah and Marissa Newman.
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