Israel-Hamas Conflict Takes a Grim Turn with Gaza Hospital Blast
A catastrophic explosion at a Gaza hospital has sent shockwaves through the region, casting a pall over diplomatic efforts led by the United States. The U.S.-sponsored summit meeting, aimed at garnering support for “Israel’s right to defend itself,” was scheduled to take place in Jordan’s Amman. However, it has been abruptly canceled in the wake of this tragic incident.
Tragically, it is feared that around 500 lives have been lost in the aftermath of this deadly blast at a Gaza hospital. Both Hamas and Israel have exchanged accusations, each blaming the other for the devastating incident.
United States President Joe Biden was set to embark on a solidarity visit to Israel, intending to express unwavering support for the nation. However, due to the escalating situation, the summit meeting scheduled in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been canceled, as confirmed by Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.
President Biden has been endorsing Israel’s call for the eradication of Hamas, especially following the series of attacks perpetrated by the faction against Israel on October 7. These attacks resulted in the tragic loss of more than 1,300 lives, with between 200 and 250 Israelis reportedly being taken as hostages in Gaza.
Hamas promptly attributed the explosion at the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday to an Israeli airstrike. However, Israel vehemently denied these allegations, insisting that the incident was caused by a misfired rocket launched by the Islamic faction.
In a surprising turn of events, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh shifted the blame to the United States, claiming that Washington provided Israel with the “cover for its aggression.” Haniyeh delivered a televised address in which he expressed, “The hospital massacre confirms the enemy’s brutality and the extent of his feeling of defeat.” He called upon all Palestinian people to “get out and confront the occupation and the settlers,” urging Arabs and Muslims to stage protests against Israel.
Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey, joined in accusing Israel of bombing the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu squarely placed the responsibility on the “barbaric terrorists in Gaza,” asserting that they were the ones responsible for the hospital tragedy.
President Isaac Herzog of Israel strongly denounced the accusations made by Hamas, describing them as a “blood libel.” He also refuted the claim that Islamic Jihad was involved in the incident, emphasizing the innocence of the Palestinian victims at a hospital, a place meant for saving lives.
As tensions continue to escalate in the region following this devastating occurrence, the situation remains highly volatile. Intelligence reports from multiple sources indicate that a barrage of rockets was fired by Gaza-based terrorists, closely passing by the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time of the explosion. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, these reports point to Islamic Jihad as responsible for the ill-fated rocket launch that led to this tragic incident.