Blast kills hundreds at Gaza hospital as Hamas and Israel trade blame

ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo has the latest developments as fighting continues into its 11th day with no signs of a ceasefire

  • Gaza's health ministry, which is run by Hamas, has claimed at least 500 people have died after an airstrike struck a hospital in Gaza City. Israel has denied any involvement and blamed Palestinian militants.

  • Israel, it has emerged, has targeted areas of southern Gaza with airstrikes, after telling Palestinians to flee south of the Wadi Gaza river. Israel's military has said it was hitting military targets.

  • Aid for Gazans remains stuck at Egypt's border as humanitarian groups plead for water and food, while hospitals are on the verge of losing electricity.

  • At least 3,000 Palestinians and over 1,400 Israelis have died as the conflict enters its eleventh day.

  • Mediators have been trying to reach a ceasefire as efforts persist to open the Rafah crossing - Gaza's only connection to Egypt.

More than 500 people have been killed after an airstrike hit a hospital in Gaza City, Gaza's health ministry has said.

The Hamas-run ministry said the strike hit the al-Ahli Hospital, where hundreds of people have been sheltering.

Israel has denied any involvement and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has blamed "barbaric terrorists in Gaza" for the incident.

"From the analysis of the @IDF operational systems, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards #Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman, on X.

"According to intelligence information, from several sources we have, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed launch that hit the hospital."

One doctor receiving patients from al-Ahli Hospital told ITV News: "The patients were unarmed. This is very serious considering the number of casualties and the kind of injuries.

"There were entire families, children, women, elders. A little percent of them could still be alive, but the death toll is rising.

"The efforts to collect more body parts continues. There might be some survivors, but the death toll will be much higher."

Dr Zaher Sahloul, Co-founder and President of MedGlobal, Chicago-based Medical NGO that provides healthcare in disaster regions, added: "Innocent patients, healthcare workers, and civilians staying in a hospital because they believed it was safe. Bombing hospitals is against international law."

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described the attack on the al-Ahli Hospital - which is run by the Anglican Church - as an "appalling and devastating loss of innocent lives".

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.

On Tuesday, Israel launched airstrikes into areas of southern Gaza, including the city of Khan Younis.

Criticisms have been made, including by the US, over the ministry's transparency. Credit: AP

Hamas hideouts, infrastructure and command centres were the targets of the strikes, Israel's military said.

A senior Palestinian official said President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled his planned meeting on Wednesday with US President Joe Biden in light of the attacks. Jordan's foreign minister later told state-run television that a summit due to be held in the country had been cancelled.

The US had hoped to break the deadlock, with President Biden boarding Air Force One for the Middle East on Tuesday evening.

ITV News footage from Khan Younis shows a number of children, who were caught up in Israeli airstrikes, being rushed to the Al Aqsa hospital for treatment.

At one point, a medical professional can be seen running as he carries a dust covered baby into a cubicle and cleans their eyes out with sanitary wipes.

More than one million people have fled their homes, and 60% are now in the Israeli designated evacuation zone, according to the United Nations (UN).

The al-Ahli Hospital is located in Gaza City.

The UN has said there is "concern" over the strikes in southern Gaza and warned Israel over a possible war crime.

A spokesperson for the UN's high commissioner for human rights said the Israeli military demanding Palestinians move to southern Gaza could lead to the "forcible transfer of civilians - in breach of international law".

Truckloads of aid remains stuck at Egypt's border with Gaza, as residents and humanitarian groups plead for water, food, and fuel for dying generators. Thousands of people trying to escape Gaza are gathered in the city of Rafah, which has the territory's only border crossing to Egypt.

Israeli airstrikes forced the crossing to shut down last week, but it remains unclear which side is keeping it closed. Footage on an Egyptian news channel appeared to show an Israeli strike at the crossing, though the extent of the damage is unclear.

A baby, who was caught up in the Israeli bombing of Khan Younis, is rushed to the Al Aqsa hospital for treatment

This video contains distressing images

Mediators are pressing for an agreement to let aid in and refugees with foreign passports out as the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the region faces an "imminent crisis".

The World Food Programme said it had more than 300 tonnes of food waiting to cross into Gaza.

The conflict, which is into its eleventh day, has killed at least 3,000 people and wounded 12,500 in Gaza, according to its health ministry.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed - the vast majority being civilians who were massacred in Hamas' attack on Saturday, October 7.

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK, warned in a press briefing on Tuesday that the real figure in Gaza is "much higher" as rescue teams have not yet reached all those trapped under rubble.

As President Biden plans to signal White House support, Iran warned the prospect of the conflict spreading to other fronts is becoming "inevitable".

Photos taken a week apart, from October 8-15, show the damage to the Gaza Strip's harbour and Islamic University

"The time for political solutions is running out and the possible expansion of the war on other fronts is approaching the inevitable stage," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

King Abdullah II of Jordan said at a meeting with German Chancellor OIaf Scholz, in Berlin, that neither Jordan nor Egypt would be willing to take in any Palestinian refugees.

Israel has evacuated towns near its northern border with Lebanon, where the military has exchanged fire repeatedly with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.

Speaking to the Israeli Knesset, Mr Netanyahu sent a warning to Iran and Hezbollah.

Referring to Israel's 2006 conflict with Hezbollah, which operates out of Lebanon, he said: "Don't test us in the north. Don't make the mistake of the past. Today, the price you will pay will be far heavier."

Israel's military said on Monday that at least 199 hostages were taken into Gaza - more than previously estimated.

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