Israeli strike near Rafah hospital kills 11, says Gaza officials | Global News

Israeli strike near Rafah hospital kills 11, says Gaza officials

/ 08:45 AM March 03, 2024

Palestinians check destruction after an Israeli strike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, February 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

An Israeli strike hit tents housing displaced civilians near a hospital in the southern city of Rafah Saturday, killing 11 and wounding dozens.

The report came from the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.


The Israeli army said it had carried out a “precision strike” in the area of the hospital that targeted militants from the Islamic Jihad group.


World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a post on social media platform X that the reported strike was “outrageous and unspeakable.”

A paramedic was among those killed and children were wounded in the blast close to the Emirati Maternity Hospital, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.

“Eleven citizens were martyred and about 50 injured, including children, as a result of Israeli forces targeting tents of displaced people near the Emirati hospital,” Qudra said.

Footage posted on social media, which AFP could not independently verify, showed bloodied bodies in the streets as crowds gathered, with men carrying away the wounded for treatment.

An AFP journalist saw wounded people being rushed on stretchers to the Kuwaiti Hospital, also in Rafah.

“Destruction is everywhere and there are many martyrs,” said Rafah resident Belal Abu Jekhleh.


“Suddenly, the glass shattered and a fire broke out. Everyone fled. Some were martyred and others injured. I was injured in my hands and head, and my brother was also injured.”

The Israeli army confirmed it struck near the area of the hospital.

“The precision strike was conducted against Islamic Jihad terrorists and no damage was caused to the hospital in the area,” the army said in a statement.

Israeli troops have carried out multiple operations in and around hospitals in the Gaza Strip since they launched their offensive in the Palestinian territory.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas militants of using hospitals for military purposes, something the Palestinian group denies.

An estimated 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah, raising fears of mass casualties if Israel goes through with a planned ground invasion of the city.

Mediators are scrambling to secure a new truce ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins on March 10 or 11, depending on the lunar calendar.

The war in Gaza broke out with Hamas’s unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.

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Israel’s retaliatory military campaign against Hamas has killed at least 30,320 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

TAGS: Gaza, Israel, Rafah, strikes

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