What we know about the deadly blast at a Gaza City hospital
Oct 17, 2023, 6:34 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — This is what we know about Tuesday’s deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza City.
— In the dark of early evening in Gaza, reports emerged of an explosion at Gaza City’s al-Ahli hospital. Al-Ahli was crowded both with victims of 10 days of Israeli airstrikes and with families and others who have taken refuge on hospital grounds.
— Video that The Associated Press confirmed as being from the hospital showed an orange ball of fire and flames engulfing the building and grounds.
— The video showed the outside of the hospital, where countless Palestinian families had been camping out. Torn bodies covered the grass, with slain children lying among dead adults.
— Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry blamed an Israeli airstrike, and said it killed at least 500 people.
— Israeli authorities soon after denied involvement, saying a misfired Palestinian rocket appeared to blame.
— Outraged over the hospital blast, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II announced they were pulling out of a planned Arab summit Wednesday with President Joe Biden.
— The White House and Jordan’s government announced within hours of the attack that Biden’s meeting with Arab leaders was off.
— Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and other Arab nations condemned the hospital attack, or declared days of national mourning. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared the hospital explosion “a clear violation of international law … and humanity.”
— Protests erupted in some Arab cities. In Beirut, protesters roamed the city on motorcycles and gathered outside the French embassy and a U.N. facility, in protests against the international community’s response to the civilian deaths in Gaza. Throngs of Jordanians gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman.