In a devastating incident, a massive explosion tore through Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, resulting in hundreds of casualties, as confirmed by the Hamas-run Health Ministry. The conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated to a critical point, with conflicting claims about the cause of the explosion. US President Joe Biden who is en-route to Israel has condemned the attack and ordered his national security team to gather information about what exactly happened.
Biden in his statement said "I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted." Immediately upon hearing this news, I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and have directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened."
Hamas has blamed Israeli airstrike for the tragedy, while the Israeli military countered that it was a result of a rocket misfired by Palestinian militants, specifically the Islamic Jihad group. The escalating war is pushing the region to the brink, as stated by Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi of Jordan. After the attack Jordan has cancelled the summit previously scheduled Wednesday in Anman, Jordan in which Biden was to meet with King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The horrific explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital led to scenes of chaos and devastation has killed atleast 500 hundred people including children and wounded many. Disturbing videos, verified by The Associated Press, showed the hospital engulfed in flames and the surrounding area scattered with injured people. The ground was littered with blankets, school backpacks, and personal belongings.
As the conflict continued, the United States sought to persuade Israel to allow the delivery of supplies to the desperate civilians, aid groups, and hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip. The situation in Gaza had grown increasingly dire, with hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need of basic necessities like bread and water.
Hamas decried the hospital blast as a "horrific massacre" and pointed fingers at Israel. In response, the Israeli military held the Islamic Jihad group accountable, citing intelligence reports of rocket fire near the hospital. The military argued that the explosion did not match the characteristics of Israeli weaponry.
Blaming the "terrorists in Gaza" for the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza and not the IDF. Those who brutally murdered our children also murder their own children."
Innocents die both sides
Before this tragic incident, Israeli airstrikes had claimed the lives of at least 2,778 people and wounded 9,700, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. A significant number of those casualties were children. Furthermore, around 1,200 people were believed to be trapped under the rubble.
Hamas initiated the current cycle of violence on October 7 with an attack in southern Israel, resulting in significant casualties and captives. Since then, they have launched rockets into Israel, targeting various cities.
Protests erupted in the West Bank, Beirut, and Amman, where people voiced their anger at the ongoing conflict. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled his participation in the summit, blaming Israel for the hospital destruction and calling it a "massacre."
With the situation on the brink of a ground invasion, Israel's military remains prepared for the next phases of the conflict. Meanwhile, airstrikes continue to claim civilian lives in Gaza, with a rising death toll.
The need for humanitarian aid remains pressing, with efforts underway to establish a mechanism for delivering essential supplies to the beleaguered residents of Gaza. Israel's insistence on guarantees for aid delivery and the release of hostages complicates these efforts, emphasizing the urgency of finding a resolution to the crisis.