An explosion at a hospital in Gaza killed at least 500 people on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.
Hamas-run health ministry sources said local authorities blamed Israeli airstrikes, while Israel alleged it was Hamas rockets misfiring.
Intelligence from multiple sources we have indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza, according to the Israeli army.
Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said at a press conference that during the time of the strike, Israel was not conducting any aerial operations near the hospital and the rockets that were used did not match their equipment.
The Islamic Jihad, a Hamas ally, released a statement that read: ‘The Zionist enemy is trying hard to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre he committed by bombing the Baptist Arab National Hospital in Gaza through his usual fabrication of lies, and through pointing the finger of blame at the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine.’
Following the hospital bombing, US President Joe Biden, who will be in Israel today, spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted,’ Biden said in a statement.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the deadly airstrike, calling it a ‘horrific’ attack.
‘My heart is with the families of the victims. Hospitals and medical personnel are protected under international humanitarian law,’ Guterres posted on X.
Hundreds protested outside the UK and France embassies in Iran’s Tehran as regional outrage grew over the bombing. Protests were stage across many major cities in the world, including Bengaluru in India.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi announced a day of ‘public mourning’ and blamed Israel, and its ally the US, for the attack.
‘The flames of the US-Israeli bombs, dropped this evening on the Palestinian victims injured at the… hospital in Gaza, will soon consume the Zionists,’ Raisi said.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon, also involved in the regional war that started on October 7, called for a ‘day of rage’ to condemn the strike. Let tomorrow, Wednesday, be a day of rage against the enemy,’ Hezbollah said in a statement, calling on fellow Muslims and Arabs to ‘move immediately to streets and squares to express intense anger.’
The West Bank saw Palestinian security forces in Ramallah clash with protesters who were throwing rocks and raising slogans against President Mahmoud Abbas.
Tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse the crowds.
Over 1 million people have fled northern Gaza and moved to the south. The UN has warned that Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip are being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas, with essential life-saving supplies running out. The UN called for a humanitarian truce to allow aid to be delivered.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) termed the hospital strike as ‘unprecedented in its scale,’ adding that 115 healthcare facilities in Gaza have been attacked, leaving most of the city’s hospitals out of operation.
The Israeli military has amassed armored vehicles on the outskirts of Gaza in preparation for a ground-based assault.
Israel says it is striking back at Hamas and targetting its operatives and operational centres in retaliation to the October 7 attacks that saw over 1,400 Israelis dead and hundreds kidnapped.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius