Devastating Gaza Hospital Blast—What We Know

Hundreds of people have been reported killed in an explosion at a Christian hospital in the Gaza Strip with Hamas and NGOs blaming an Israeli airstrike and Israel saying it resulted from a Palestinian rocket blast.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health, led by the Palestinian Hamas movement currently embroiled in its largest conflict with Israel, has estimated at least 500 people were killed in what it said was an airstrike on the Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital on Tuesday.

In a statement, the group itself condemned a “horrific massacre carried out by the Zionist occupation” against the site.

A number of other international non-government organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, also quickly attributed the explosion to Israel.

But the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the devastation was the result of a failed rocket strike by Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian faction fighting alongside Hamas.

“An analysis of 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,” the IDF said in a statement.

“Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza,” the statement added.

Newsweek was unable to independently verify the number of casualties or the cause behind the blast.

Injured, Palestinians, received, treatment, at, Gaza, hospital
Injured children react as they receive treatment in the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern of Gaza Strip, on October 17. Local health officials in the Hamas-led Palestinian territory said the death toll from a massive blast at another Gaza-based medical facility has reached at least 500.

This is a developing news story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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