The IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, conveyed Tuesday overnight to international media that the IDF possesses recordings of Gaza-based terror operatives, which substantiate that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) bears responsibility for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza.
According to information reported by CNN, Hagari pointed out that the IDF has aerial footage from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which reveals an impact in a parking area, but not within the hospital itself. Hagai assured that the IDF will soon share this documentation.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit also said that "following a comprehensive investigation, including examination of all operational and intelligence systems, it is evident that the IDF did not target the Gaza hospital."
“An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by PIJ terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit,” a statement read. Since the start of the war, approximately 450 rockets have been launched by the terror group, with some landing within Gaza's borders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response, "Let the world know: the barbaric terrorists in Gaza are the ones who attacked the Gaza hospital, not the IDF. Those who brutally murdered our children are also murdering their own."
President Isaac Herzog wrote on X, “An Islamic Jihad missile has killed many Palestinians at a Gazan hospital - a place where lives should be saved. Shame on the media who swallow the lies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad - broadcasting a 21st-century blood libel around the globe. Shame on the vile terrorists in Gaza who wilfully spill the blood of the innocent. Never before has the choice been clearer. Israel is standing against an enemy made of pure evil. If you stand for humanity - for the value of all human life - you stand with Israel.” Islamic Jihad denied the allegations.
The Palestinian enclave's health ministry claimed that at least 500 people were killed in a massive explosion at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood.
Hezbollah denounced Israel for the attack, announcing Wednesday "a day of unprecedented anger" against Israel and U.S. President Biden's visit to the country, according to a statement released by the terrorist group late on Tuesday.
"The attack reveals the true criminal face of this entity and its sponsor...the United States, which bears direct and complete responsibility for this massacre", according to the statement.
While Hamas was quick to accuse the IDF of the deadly blast, Israeli authorities were at first unsure whether the hospital, which had been sheltering thousands of refugees whose homes were destroyed since the beginning of the war, was attacked by Israeli forces and attributed the blast to a misfired rocket launched from Gaza.
IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that the matter was being investigated. "We do not yet have all the details," he said, expressing skepticism over claims of 500 casualties, especially since Hamas had only reported the hospital strike a short while earlier.
Other sources in the Gaza Strip reported at least 200 casualties at the Christian hospital in the Zeitoun neighborhood. "I have reviewed this incident with the Gaza Division and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories," he said.
When asked about the death toll claimed by Hamas, he responded, "I can't confirm as there have been numerous airstrikes, many failed rocket launches and a lot of false reports from Hamas. We will ascertain the details and provide the public with the truth."
Hamas referred to the explosion at the hospital as an act of “genocide”. "The massacre at the Baptist hospital is a crime of genocide. We call on the international community, and Arab and Islamic countries, to take responsibility and intervene immediately to halt the arrogance of the occupation and its fascist military."
The civil defense spokesperson in Gaza told Al-Jazeera, "We entered the courtyard of the Baptist hospital and found no injured, only hundreds of dead. We cannot meet the needs; the massacre is immense." He asserted that the fact the explosion was centered in the hospital indicates it was a deliberate Israeli bombing.
Following the explosion at the hospital in Gaza, Hamas called for residents of the West Bank to go and confront Israeli forces to "avenge the massacre."
Egypt's Foreign Ministry accused Israel of a "deliberate bombing" on the Gaza hospital."Egypt condemns in strongest terms the Israeli bombing of the hospital in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of innocent Palestinians and wounded others in Gaza."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that "the news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable... international law needs to be respected in this and in all cases. There are rules around wars and it's not acceptable to hit a hospital."
Jordan's foreign ministry also issued a statement strongly condemning the purported attack and stressing the need to provide international protection for the Palestinian people while calling on immediately joining efforts to stop the war from raging in Gaza.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the attack on a Gaza hospital was "the latest example of Israel's attacks devoid of the most basic human values."
"I call on all humanity to take action to stop this unprecedented brutality in Gaza," Erdogan wrote on social media platform X.
The country's foreign ministry condemned in the strongest terms Israel's "barbaric attack" on the hospital. "We are deeply indignant that hundreds of Palestinians lost their lives and many more were injured as a result of the targeting of a hospital in Gaza today, and we condemn these barbaric attacks in the strongest terms," the statement said.
Qatar's foreign ministry said in a statement, "The expansion of Israeli attacks over the Gaza Strip to include hospitals, schools, and other population centers is a dangerous escalation." Saudi Arabia strongly condemned the "heinous crime."
Meanwhile, Palestinian security forces in central Ramallah fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters throwing rocks and chanting against Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as popular anger boiled over after a deadly blast in a Gaza hospital which Hamas blamed on Israel on Tuesday. Clashes with Palestinian security forces broke out in a number of other cities in the West Bank late on Tuesday, according to witnesses.
First published: 21:25, 10.17.23