In an air strike yesterday, Israel hit a hospital in Gaza killing hundreds of people. The death toll was by far the highest of any single incident in Gaza during the current war, triggering protests in the occupied West Bank, Istanbul, and Amman.
According to a report by Reuters, the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, Mai Alkaila, accused Israel of “a massacre” at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital. The strike killed hundreds of people and occurred during Israel’s intense 11-day bombing campaign in Gaza. The health ministry spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qudra, said early on Wednesday that hundreds were killed and that rescue workers were still removing bodies from the rubble. In the first hours after the blast, a Gaza civil defense chief said 300 people were killed, while health ministry sources put the figure at 500.
A Palestinian Civil Defense official told Al Jazeera that the scenes from the attack are “indescribable.”
“What happened was a major massacre in every sense of the word, which is genocide against our people, and the world must take action,” spokesperson Major Mahmoud Basal said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “barbaric terrorists” in Gaza had attacked the hospital, not Israel’s military. Another spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, told CNN that the Israeli military intercepted a conversation in which militants acknowledged a misfire. He said the military would release a recording of the conversation.
Israeli Military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters that rockets fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group were what struck the hospital, but he said a misfire hit the facility’s parking lot, not the building.
Islamic Jihad denied that any of its rockets were involved in the hospital blast, saying it did not have any activity in or around Gaza City at the time the hospital was struck. Iran-backed Islamic Jihad took part in the Hamas-led assault on Israel on October 7 and, like Hamas, has fired numerous salvoes of rockets into Israel, according to Reuters.
In response to this attack, and without clear evidence of which side is responsible, “a global day of rage” is taking place as people protest.