GAZA CITY - A strike on a Gaza park killed 10 people Monday, nine of them children, as Israeli and Palestinian authorities traded blame over the attack and fighting in the Gaza war raged on despite a major Muslim holiday.
The Gaza park attack happened as children played on a swing in the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, said Ayman Sahabani, head of the emergency room at nearby Shifa Hospital. Sahabani said nine of the 10 killed at the park were children under the age of 12, and 46 were wounded.
The strike on the park occurred a few minutes after the hospital's outpatient clinic was hit, leaving several people wounded. Camera crews were prevented from filming the area of impact at Shifa.
Gaza's police operations room, Civil Defense and Sahabani blamed the attacks on Israeli airstrikes.
Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman, denied Israel was involved. "This incident was carried out by Gaza terrorists whose rockets fell short and hit the Shifa Hospital and the Beach (Shati) camp," he said.
Gaza's Interior Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozum said he believes that shrapnel found in dead bodies and in the wounded is evidence of Israel's role in the incident.
"The occupation claims that Palestinian rockets hit the hospital and the park," he said. "This is an attempt to cover their ugly crime against children and civilians, and because of their fear of scandal and international legal prosecution."
In a text message, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the strike on the park a "massacre." The Hamas military wing said that in response to the strike, it fired three rockets toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod.