In the aftermath of an airstrike on the "Al-Ahli Al-Maadani" hospital in Gaza, Al Arabiya reported that 800 people have lost their lives. Prior to this, Gaza's Ministry of Health had reported around 500 casualties.
As stated by a representative of Gaza's Ministry of Health, all those who perished were civilians, including hundreds of children. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared a three-day mourning period for the victims of the strike and ordered flags to be flown at half-mast, reports Sarbaz.kz, citing Lenta.ru
The origin of the strike on a hospital where people had taken refuge remains undetermined. Certain Telegram channels sympathetic to Israel have suggested that the missile could have been launched by the radical Palestinian group, HAMAS, and either accidentally misfired or malfunctioned. For instance, the Israeli channel i24 puts forward the theory that the explosion might have resulted from an unsuccessful HAMAS rocket launch.
Amidst the accusations and counter-accusations, Israel has blamed the Palestinian group "Islamic Jihad", (recognised as terrorist in a number of countries) for the hospital strike. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), based on intelligence, the hospital's explosion occurred due to a malfunction in HAMAS's rocket launch, aimed at firing at Israeli territory.
HAMAS, however, points fingers at Israel for the rocket strike on the hospital. The head of the political bureau of the Palestinian movement, Ismail Haniyeh, places the blame on the United States for the crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, accusing Washington of "shielding Israeli aggression."
In response, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Israeli forces were not responsible for the hospital strike in Gaza.
World Reaction to the Attack Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced reports of the strike on the Gaza hospital as "horrifying and absolutely unacceptable," calling for the observance of international law.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated that the United States calls upon Israeli authorities to adhere to the "laws of war" during operations against HAMAS.
The strike on the Gaza hospital was also commented on by Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia. He termed the attack a war crime and placed blame on the United States.
"The horrific strike on the hospital in Gaza is undoubtedly a war crime. The final responsibility for it lies with those who cynically profit from wars in different countries and on different continents. Those who thoughtlessly hand out colossal sums for weapons, burden their defense industry. Those who falsely proclaim their global mission to protect democratic values. The United States of America." – Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia
Additionally, Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday, October 18, in response to the hospital strike in Gaza.