KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — An unclassified U.S. intelligence evaluation delivered to Congress on Thursday estimates casualties in an explosion at a Gaza Metropolis hospital on the “low finish” of 100 to 300 deaths.
That dying toll “nonetheless displays a staggering lack of life,” U.S. intelligence officers mentioned within the findings, which have been seen by The Related Press.
The explosion at Gaza’s al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday left physique components strewn on the hospital grounds, the place crowds of Palestinians had clustered in hopes of escaping Israeli airstrikes.
Officers in Hamas-ruled Gaza shortly mentioned an Israeli airstrike had hit the hospital. Israel denied it was concerned. The AP has not independently verified any of the claims or proof launched by the events.
President Joe Biden and different U.S. officers have already got mentioned that U.S. intelligence officers believed the explosion was not brought on by an Israeli airstrike. Thursday’s findings echoed that.
The U.S. evaluation famous “solely mild structural injury” to the hospital itself was evident, with no impression crater seen.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows beneath.
Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes Thursday, together with within the south the place Palestinians have been instructed to take refuge, and the nation’s protection minister instructed floor troops to “be prepared” to invade, although he didn’t say when.
Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals tried to stretch out ebbing medical provides and gasoline for mills, as authorities labored out logistics for a supply of support from Egypt. Docs in darkened wards throughout Gaza stitched wounds by the sunshine of cell phones, and others used vinegar to deal with contaminated wounds.
The Israeli navy has relentlessly attacked Gaza in retaliation for a devastating Hamas rampage in southern Israel nearly two weeks in the past. Even after Israel instructed Palestinians to evacuate the north of Gaza and flee south, strikes prolonged throughout the territory, heightening fears among the many territory’s 2.3 million folks that nowhere was secure.
Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel on Thursday from Gaza and Lebanon, and tensions flared within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.
In a fiery speech to Israeli infantry troopers on the Gaza border Thursday, Protection Minister Yoav Gallant urged the forces to “get organized, be prepared” for an order to maneuver in. Israel has massed tens of 1000’s of troops alongside the border.
“Whoever sees Gaza from afar now, will see it from the within … I promise you,” he mentioned. “It would take every week, a month, two months till we destroy them,” he added, referring to Hamas.
Israel’s consent for Egypt to let in meals, water and drugs supplied the primary doable opening in its seal of the territory. A lot of Gaza’s residents are down to at least one meal a day and consuming soiled water.
Egypt and Israel have been nonetheless negotiating for the entry of gasoline for hospitals. Israeli navy spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari mentioned Hamas has stolen gasoline from U.N. amenities and Israel needed assurances this gained’t occur. The primary vans of support have been anticipated to go in Friday, Egypt’s state-owned Al-Qahera information reported.
With the Egypt-Gaza border crossing in Rafah nonetheless closed, the already dire situations at Gaza’s second-largest hospital deteriorated additional, mentioned Dr. Mohammed Qandeel of Nasser Hospital within the southern city of Khan Younis. Energy was shut off in most components of the hospital to put it aside for intensive care and different important features, and workers members have been utilizing cell phones for mild.
No less than 80 wounded civilians and 12 useless flooded into the hospital Thursday morning after witnesses mentioned a strike hit a residential constructing in Khan Younis. Docs had no alternative however to go away two of the incoming to die as a result of there have been no ventilators, Qandeel mentioned.
“We will’t save extra lives if this retains occurring, which means extra youngsters … extra girls will die,” he mentioned.
The Gaza Well being Ministry pleaded with gasoline stations to offer gasoline to hospitals, and a U.N. company gave a few of its final gasoline provides to hospitals.
The company’s donation to Gaza Metropolis’s Shifa Hospital, the territory’s largest, would “preserve us going for an additional few hours,” hospital director Mohammed Abu Selmia mentioned.
The Gaza Well being Ministry mentioned 3,785 individuals have been killed in Gaza because the battle started, the bulk girls, youngsters and older adults. Almost 12,500 have been injured, and one other 1,300 individuals have been believed buried underneath the rubble, well being authorities mentioned.
Greater than 1,400 individuals in Israel have been killed, largely civilians slain throughout Hamas’ lethal incursion on Oct. 7. Roughly 200 others have been kidnapped. The Israeli navy mentioned Thursday it had notified the households of 203 captives.
Greater than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s inhabitants, have fled their houses in Gaza Metropolis and different locations within the north of the territory since Israel instructed them to evacuate. Most have crowded into U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters or the houses of family members.
For the primary time since 1967 when Israel captured Gaza from Egypt, a significant tent camp arose to deal with displaced individuals. Dozens of U.N.-provided tents and tarps lined a dust lot within the southern metropolis of Khan Younis. Households boiled water on gasoline stoves and charged telephones on small mills. Volunteers handed round cans of tuna and bread.
The deal to get support into Gaza by means of Rafah, the territory’s solely connection to Egypt, remained fragile. Israel mentioned the provides might solely go to civilians in southern Gaza and that it might “thwart” any diversions by Hamas. U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned the deliveries “will finish” if Hamas takes any support.
Greater than 200 vans and a few 3,000 tons of support have been positioned at or close to Rafah, in keeping with Khalid Zayed, the top of the Crimson Crescent for North Sinai.
Underneath an association reached between the United Nations, Israel and Egypt, U.N. observers will examine the vans carrying support earlier than getting into Gaza. The U.N., working with the Egyptian and Palestinian Crimson Crescent, will guarantee support goes solely to civilians, an Egyptian official and European diplomat instructed the AP. A U.N. flag can be raised on either side of the crossing as an indication of safety in opposition to airstrikes, mentioned the officers, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to transient media.
It was not instantly clear how a lot cargo the crossing might deal with. Waleed Abu Omar, spokesperson for the Palestinian aspect, mentioned work has not began to restore the highway between the 2 gates broken by Israeli airstrikes.
Egyptian Overseas Minister Sameh Shoukry instructed Al-Arabiya TV that foreigners and twin nationals can be allowed to go away Gaza as soon as the crossing was opened.
Israel mentioned it agreed to permit support from Egypt due to a request by Biden — which adopted days of intense talks with the U.S. secretary of state to beat staunch Israeli refusal.
4 U.S. officers conversant in the discussions mentioned American diplomats turned more and more alarmed by feedback from their Israeli counterparts relating to their intention to disclaim water, meals, drugs, electrical energy and gasoline into Gaza, in addition to the inevitability of civilian casualties. The officers spoke on situation of anonymity so they might talk about non-public conversations.
Members of the Israeli safety and political institution instructed the U.S. diplomats that the eradication of Hamas would require strategies used within the defeat of the Axis powers in World Battle II. One official mentioned he and others have been instructed by Israeli counterparts that “numerous harmless Germans died in WWII” and have been reminded of Japanese civilian deaths from the U.S. atomic bombs. Israeli officers have publicly made comparable comparisons.
Israel had beforehand mentioned it might let nothing into Gaza till Hamas freed the hostages taken from Israel. Kin of among the captives have been livid over the help announcement.
“The Israeli authorities pampers the murderers and kidnappers,” the Hostage and Lacking Households Discussion board mentioned in a press release.
The Israeli navy reported Thursday that it killed a prime Palestinian militant in Rafah and hit a whole lot of targets throughout Gaza, together with militant tunnel shafts, intelligence infrastructure and command facilities. Palestinians have launched barrages of rockets at Israel because the preventing started.
Israel has mentioned it’s attacking Hamas militants wherever they might be and has accused the group’s leaders and fighters of taking shelter amongst Gaza’s civilian inhabitants.
Violence was additionally escalating within the West Financial institution, the place Israel carried out a uncommon airstrike Thursday, focusing on militants within the Nur Shams refugee camp.
Israeli troops raided the camp the earlier night time and have been nonetheless battling Palestinian fighters inside. Six Palestinians have been killed within the camp, the Palestinian Well being Ministry mentioned, and the Israeli navy mentioned the strike killed militants and resulted in 10 Israeli officers being wounded. Greater than 74 Palestinians have been killed within the West Financial institution because the battle began.
Hezbollah militants in Lebanon mentioned they fired missiles into northern Israel, hitting a kibbutz. The Israeli navy mentioned nobody was injured and responded with shelling on border areas in Lebanon. Hamas militants additionally fired 30 rockets from southern Lebanon towards Israeli cities. Violence on the border comes amid fears the Hamas-Israel battle might unfold throughout the area.
Nessman reported from Jerusalem and Kullab from Baghdad. Related Press journalists Amy Teibel and Isabel Debre in Jerusalem; Samy Magdy and Jack Jeffrey in Cairo; Matthew Lee in Washington, and Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, contributed to this report.