TEL AVIV — At least 500 people have been killed in a rocket strike on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the middle of Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
The hospital was serving as a shelter for thousands of residents who fled their homes in northern Gaza. Israel was blamed for the attack but an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said the rocket strike was a result of a failed launch by Hamas.
Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Fox News that Israel would not intentionally target a hospital. The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the attack and called for “the immediate active protection of civilians and health care” workers.
“A hospital is a highly sensitive building and not an IDF target. The IDF is currently investigating and as always prioritizes accuracy,” the spokesperson said. “We urge everyone to proceed with caution while reporting about a terror organization.”
“The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced,” WHO said in a statement.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, has canceled his meeting and called for three days of mourning following the attack.