500 Killed In Gaza hospital Attack; Israel Denies, Biden Furious

Nearly 500 people were killed in an Israeli strike at a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, following the alleged air strike on the Al Ahli Arab hospital, according to the Gaza Health Ministry spokesman, the BBC reported.

It quoted an Israeli Army spokesperson saying the cause of the incident is not known and the army is looking into the details.

The hospital is funded by the Anglican Church, and Richard Sewell, Dean of St George's College – one of the church's top figures in Jerusalem – said that it took "a direct hit from an Israeli missile", the BBC said.

Attack on Gaza Hospital
Attack on Gaza Hospital, Israel denies, says misfire by Hamas IANS

Sewell, in a post on X, said early reports suggest hundreds of women and children have been killed, and calls the act the "deliberate killing of vulnerable civilians".

"The bombs must stop now. There can be no possible justification for this."

British-Palestinian surgeon Professor Ghassan Abu Sittah, who was working there when the strike occurred, told the BBC that parts of the hospital were on fire.

"I don't know whether that is the emergency department. But it's certainly the operating suite, part of the roof has fallen. There is glass everywhere," he said, adding that there were lots of people taking refuge at the hospital.

The BBC also quoted an unnamed doctor at the hospital that there was total devastation at the scene of the attack - where some 4,000 displaced persons were seeking refuge.

He added that 80 per cent of the hospital was out of service, and that hundreds of people were killed or injured in the blast.

US President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the deadly blast at a Gaza hospital, the White House said as quoted by media reports.

Gaza hospital
Bodies seen inside the Gaza hospital which killed at least 500 after an alleged Israel airstrike X

Biden, who is flying to Israel for a wartime solidarity visit and talks with Netanyahu, was also briefed by his national security team "following reports of the terrible loss of life," it added.

Biden is wheels up from Joint Base Andrew's in Maryland, heading to Israel for a wartime solidarity visit, The Times of Israel reported.

He is slated to arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv at 10 a.m. for meetings with Israeli officials.

WHO Condemns Attack

World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he "strongly condemns" the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital, adding early reports indicate hundreds of deaths and injuries.

"We call for the immediate protection of civilians and health care, and for the evacuation orders to be reversed. #NotATarget," he posted on X.

Earlier, the UN said a school in central Gaza where 4,000 people are sheltering was also hit, killing at least six people.

(With inputs from IANS)