In one of the latest massive attacks by the Israeli Air Force on Gaza this Tuesday, a hospital full of patients and displaced people was razed to the ground and hundreds of Palestinians inside the building were killed, according to Palestinian health officials.
This Tuesday morning, the Israeli Air Force carried out a deadly airstrike in Gaza and targeted the Anglican-run Ahli Arab Hospital, in northern Gaza, a hospital loaded with patients, killing at least five hundred Palestinians and injuring many more.
The attack was the deadliest on Gaza since the start of the war with Hamas last Saturday and according to a statement by the Palestinian Health Ministry, the number of the killed people is expected to increase as many victims are still under the rubble.
Condemning the attack, US president Joe Biden said in a White House statement that he was “outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion” at the hospital and loss of life. He also noted that he spoke with the leaders of Jordan and Israel and “directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.”
News of the hospital strike and high death toll prompted condemnation from many countries on the eve of Biden’s visit to Israel. Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) demanded the UN Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the matter.
Israel denied the responsibility for the attack
While Palestinian officials pointed the finger at Israel for the deadly attack, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that the explosion was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket that was aimed at Israel. “Following an additional review and cross-examination of the operational and intelligence systems, it is clear that the IDF did not strike the hospital in Gaza,” the IDF statement said, adding that “the hospital was hit as a result of a failed rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization as they fire indiscriminately toward Israel.”
Likewise, Israeli Defense Forces official Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus echoed the same remarks in an interview with CNN Tuesday night and categorically denied any Israel’s involvement in the attack. “We did not strike that, and that the intelligence that we have suggests that it was a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad, and I want to add, categorically, that we do not intentionally strike any sensitive facilities, any sensitive facilities, and definitely not hospitals,” he said.
Denying that none of its rockets were involved in the hospital blast, Islamic Jihad said in a statement that it did not have any activity in or around Gaza City at that time.
While Israeli officials denied the attack, the United Nations said earlier on Tuesday that an Israeli strike had hit one of its schools where at least 4,000 people were sheltering. The agency said six people were killed and dozens injured by the strike. Israel’s military only said it was looking into that report.