500 killed in airstrike on Gaza hospital, claims Hamas

New York: About 500 Palestinians were killed in a blast at a Gaza hospital on October 17 that Palestinian health authorities said was caused by an Israeli air strike but that the Israeli military blamed on a failed rocket launch by a Palestinian militant group.

The blast was the bloodiest single incident in Gaza since Israel launched an unrelenting bombing campaign against the densely populated territory in retaliation for a deadly cross-border Hamas assault on southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7.

It took place on the eve of a visit by US President Joe Biden to Israel to show support for the country in its war with Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, and to hear how Israel plans to minimize civilian casualties.

The health minister in the Hamas-run government of Gaza, Mai Alkaila, accused Israel of a massacre. A Gaza civil defense chief said 300 people were killed and a health ministry official said 500 were killed.

Prior to the October 17 incident, health authorities in Gaza said at least 3,000 people had been killed in Israel’s 11-day bombardment that began after Hamas militants rampaged into Israeli towns and kibbutz on October 7, killing more than 1,300 people, mainly civilians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled a planned meeting with US president Joe Biden following the blast, a senior Palestinian official said. That meeting was due to take place in Jordan, where Abbas maintains a residence, but the Palestinian official said he was returning to Ramallah, the seat of his government in the occupied West Bank.



Hamas says will release civilian hostages if Israel stops bombing

The Hamas Group, which launched an audacious terror attack on Israel on October 7, has offered to release all hostages on a condition. A senior Hamas official told NBC News that the armed group was willing to release all civilian hostages immediately if Israel stops its airstrikes on Gaza.

The report stated that the Hamas official was ready to free all hostages within an hour if the Israeli forces aborted their military offensives in the Gaza Strip.


Israel says Gaza hospital blast caused by Islamic Jihad rocket misfire

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has said that the Israeli military did not strike the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip and that the facility was hit by a failed rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad terror organisation, media reports said.

The Israeli military has said that 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.”

“I can confirm that following an analysis of the IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit,” says Hagari in a short video sent by the IDF.

Intelligence points to Islamic Jihad “which is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza,” he added.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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