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Hundreds reportedly killed in strike on Gaza hospital, Hamas and Israel trade blame

by Nate Ostiller October 18, 2023 12:57 AM 2 min read
Bodies of people killed in Israeli airstrike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, are brought to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on Oct. 17, 2023 (Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Hundreds of people have allegedly been killed in a strike on a Gaza City hospital on Oct. 17, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

Hamas blamed an Israeli air strike, while Israel claims the hospital was hit by a rocket misfired by a radical Palestinian militant group.

Hundreds of Palestinians have reportedly sought refuge from Israeli attacks at the now-destroyed hospital, as well as others in the region, after Israel demanded that all Gaza City residents evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.

“The hospital was housing hundreds of sick and wounded, and people forcibly displaced from their homes” because of other Israeli attacks, Gaza officials said.

“We hold Israel for this crime. It should face justice and accountability. We as an Arab group demand immediately a ceasefire," the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said.

The Israeli military instead blamed Islamic Jihad, a smaller, more radical Palestinian militant group, claiming it misfired and is "responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital."

According to Al-Jazeera, however, social media accounts affiliated with the Israeli government deleted a video on posts claiming that a rocket fired from within Gaza caused the deadly explosion at the hospital.

Daoud Shehab, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, told Reuters that Hagari's statement was “a lie and fabrication, it is completely incorrect. The occupation is trying to cover for the horrifying crime and massacre they committed against civilians.”

Reuters, the New York Times, and other news organizations said they could not independently verify either account of the attack.

Several world leaders have denounced the attack. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it's "not acceptable to hit a hospital," and Egypt said it condemned the attack in "the strongest terms."

As of Oct. 17, almost 3,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed since Oct. 7.

Ukrainians trapped in besieged Gaza: ‘We are constantly bombed’
Hundreds of Ukrainians have been caught in the crossfire inside the Gaza Strip after Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7 prompted Israel to respond with a total blockade and intense bombardment of the small Palestinian enclave. Ukraine is now working to evacuate 243 Ukrainian citizens from Gaza, whic…

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