Over 500 people have been killed in an Israeli air raid on a hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian authorities.
Palestinian health Ministry says that at least 500 people have been killed in an attack on a hospital in central Gaza.
The death toll was by far the highest of any single incident in Gaza, Palestine during the current war, triggering protests in the occupied West Bank, and several other cities around the world.
As for the hospital fatalities, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari stated that no information was available.
“We will get the details and update the public. I don’t know to say whether it was an Israeli air strike,” he said.
Evidently, social media images depicted the structure engulfed in flames, with extensive destruction and corpses strewn throughout the rubble.
Tens of thousands of individuals looking for refuge from the bombardment have fled to hospitals throughout Gaza since October 7, when Israel launched airstrikes against the region.
The World Health Organization demanded immediate protection of civilians and access to medical care in the Palestinian enclave in condemnation of the attack.
“WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the United Nations health agency, on the social media platform X.
Egypt said it denounced the attack “in the strongest terms”. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “It’s not acceptable to hit a hospital”.
Reporting from Gaza, Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum said the area where the air raid hit was “full of displaced people”.
Azzoum stated, “This area [where the bombing occurred] is densely populated, with residential buildings and commercial establishments, as well as displaced people who have evacuated their homes in response to IOF evacuation orders.”
“Those individuals were evacuated from the northern region; they simply relocated to this hospital in the central portion of the Gaza Strip, where they believed it would be safer to be away from the Israeli bombardment.”
Rescue and medical personnel have previously expressed concern regarding what they perceive to be a recurring trend of intentional Israeli attacks specifically targeting medical vehicles.
Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) in Gaza medical coordinator Sohaib Safi told Al Jazeera earlier last week, “Ambulances are targeted as a signal that no one should enter to evacuate injured or stranded individuals when they are attempting to reach areas under fire.”
According to Palestinian officials, an ongoing barrage of Israeli air attacks has resulted in the destruction of entire neighborhoods in Gaza and the deaths of over 3,000 individuals. The attack on the hospital occurred amidst this barrage.
The Israeli offensive against Gaza was initiated subsequent to a surprise attack by Hamas fighters operating from the territory towards southern Israel. At least 1,400 people, the majority of whom were civilians, were killed and at least 199 others were taken hostage during the Hamas assault, according to Israeli officials.
The devastating attack on the hospital occurs just before US President Joe Biden departs for a mission to Israel. On this trip, he is anticipated to reaffirm US support for Israel and attempt to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from escalating into a wider conflict.
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