A massive explosion has reportedly occurred at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, causing a significant number of casualties. The Palestinian Health Ministry attributed the incident to an Israeli airstrike, but Israel has categorically denied any involvement, citing the misfire of a rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), various media reported.
The Palestinian Health Ministry reportedly claims that the strike has took the lives of approximately 500 people who sought refuge at the hospital. The footage shows a disturbing atmosphere: the hospital is engulfed in flames, and the surrounding area is littered with debris and human remains. If confirmed, the incident could be the worst Israeli airstrike since 2008.
🇵🇸🇮🇱 #BREAKING: The Al-Ahli National Baptist Hospital in Gaza Has Just Been Bombed in An Israeli Airstrike With NO Prior Warning
200 have been confirmed to be dead as a result of this airstrike, many of them women and children. pic.twitter.com/xNbnUHMoe1
— Censored Men (@CensoredMen) October 17, 2023
Israel Denies Its Connection to Gaza Hospital Explosion
The Israeli military, in a press statement, categorically denied any connection with the explosion in Gaza hospital. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) claimed that a rocket barrage launched toward Israel passed close to the hospital before the strike occurred, the Independent reported. The IDF further stated that intelligence information from multiple sources points to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken in the same vein asserting that the bombing was carried out by “barbaric terrorists.” He also denied Israeli military involvement.
The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza, and not the IDF.
Those who brutally murdered our children also murder their own children.
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) October 17, 2023
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has also reportedly refuted any involvement in the Gaza hospital strike. Consequently, protests have emerged in the West Bank, and several leaders in the Middle East have condemned the attacks.
The blast follows recent UN criticism of an attack on a Gaza central school home to thousands of civilians that killed at least six people. As tensions escalated in response to Israeli military warnings, there was a significant exodus, with more than 600,000 people fleeing the northern Gaza Strip to the south. The international community continues to closely monitor any further escalation of the conflict in the region.
Hezbollah declared Wednesday “a Day of Unprecedented Anger”
Hezbollah declared Wednesday “a day of unprecedented anger” against Israel in response to what it described as a deadly Israeli attack on a hospital, the Independent highlighted.
In a released statement, the group condemned the incident and blamed Israel and the United States.
The situation has attracted international attention. Diplomatic figures and organizations expressed grave concern and called on both sides to exercise restraint. Various world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Egyptian authorities, condemned the incident.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning. A senior Palestinian official said that Abbas canceled his participation in a meeting scheduled for tomorrow with US President Joe Biden and other Mideast leaders.