NEWS

Hundreds killed in strike on Gaza hospital: Gaza Health Ministry


The hospital was a shelter for thousands of residents who fled their homes.

October 17, 2023, 4:04 PM

At least 500 people have been killed in a strike on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the middle of Gaza City, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The hospital served as a shelter for thousands of residents who fled their homes in northern Gaza, seeking safety from Israeli airstrikes. Residents stranded in Gaza are running out of medicine, food, water and power.

PHOTO: People gather around bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, October 17, 2023.

People gather around bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, October 17, 2023.

Dawood Nemer/AFP via Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces denied responsibility for the attack, saying a failed launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad caused the blast.

“From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit,” IDF said.

PHOTO: Relatives mourn over the bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, October 17, 2023.

Relatives mourn over the bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to Al-Shifa hospital, October 17, 2023.

Dawood Nemer/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah from Doctors Without Borders was operating at the time.

“There was a strong explosion, and the ceiling fell on the operating room,” he said.

PHOTO: Injured Palestinians lay at the al-Shifa hospital, following airstrikes, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2023.

Injured Palestinians lay at the al-Shifa hospital, following airstrikes, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2023.

Abed Khaled/AP

The World Health Organization condemned the attack on the hospital and called for “the immediate active protection of civilians and health care” workers.

This hospital “was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military,” the WHO said in a statement. “The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced.”

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said earlier Tuesday that Gaza hospitals were estimated to have less than 24 hours of fuel left.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of mourning following the attack.

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