Hundreds of Palestinians have reportedly been killed in an explosion that struck a large hospital in Gaza according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
The Israeli military has now denied any involvement in the deadly blast – and has released a statement blaming a misfired missile fired by a Palestinian militant group.
A spokesman for the Health Ministry has declared at least 500 people have been killed in the blast which hit the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza on Tuesday.
However, Hamas released a statement blaming Israel and branded the attack a “crime of genocide.”
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The group’s statement, released on Telegram, said: “This also exposes the American and Western support for this criminal occupation,
“The international community and the Arab and Islamic countries must assume their responsibilities and intervene immediately, now and not tomorrow… to stop the arrogance of the occupation and its fascist army, and hold it accountable for the genocide it has been committing for the eleventh day in a row in the already blockaded area.”
The Israel Defence Force released a statement placing responsibility on the Palestine Islamic Jihad militant groups.
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The IDF statement said: “From the analysis of the IDF’s operational systems, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit.
According to intelligence information, from a number of sources we have, the GAP organization is responsible for the failed shooting that hit the hospital.”
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Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has called for three days of mourning following the deadly attack and called on the international community to intervene.
A statement released by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, of which Mr Abbas is chairman, said: “What is taking place is genocide.
“We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this massacre. Silence is no longer acceptable”
It comes as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has denied suggestions from Israel that it was responsible for the deadly blast.
Ismail Haniyeh, who is believed to be the leader of the Hamas terrorist group, claimed that the US is responsible for the attack.
He said in a televised speech: “The hospital massacre confirms the enemy’s brutality and the extent of his feeling of defeat.”
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