An Israeli airstrike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip has left at least 500 people dead, a spokesman for the health ministry in the besieged enclave said on Tuesday.
If confirmed, the attack on the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008.
Photos from al-Ahli Hospital showed fire engulfing the hospital halls, shattered glass and body parts scattered across the area.
Several hospitals in Gaza City have become refuges for hundreds of people, hoping they would be spared bombardment after Israel ordered all residents of the city and surrounding areas to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.
Palestinian health authorities said the deaths at the hospital in Gaza were caused by an Israeli air strike, but the Israeli military blamed a failed rocket launch by a Palestinian militant group.
“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,” an IDF spokesperson said.
“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.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning following the deadly airstrike on the hospital in Gaza.
“What is taking place is genocide. We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this massacre. Silence is no longer acceptable,” a statement issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organization said in response to the attack.
Around 3,000 people have been killed in Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip since the war erupted on October 7.
More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, the majority gunned down by Hamas militants who crossed from Gaza and attacked border communities.