Hundreds of people have died after a hospital in Gaza was bombed Tuesday.
Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, described the situation following the blast as “unparalleled and indescribable.”
“Ambulance crews are still removing body parts,” Al-Qudra said in a statement on Wednesday local time, noting that “most of the victims are children and women.”
The number of victims and their injuries “exceeded the capabilities of medical teams and ambulances”, he added.
“Doctors were performing surgeries on the ground and in the corridors, some of them without anesthesia and a large number of injured people are still waiting for operations, and the medical teams are trying to save their lives in intensive care.”
Death toll: The hospital, located in the center of Gaza City, had been sheltering thousands of displaced people who had been forcibly evacuated, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement. Many victims are still under the rubble, it added.
Hamas, which controls the enclave, said more than 500 people were killed by the bombing. The Palestinian health ministry earlier said preliminary estimates indicate that between 200 to 300 people died in the attack.
Casualties in Gaza over the past 10 days have now surpassed the number of those killed during the 51-day Gaza-Israel conflict in 2014.
Uncertain origins: Palestinian officials have blamed ongoing Israeli airstrikes for the lethal incident. But the Israel Defense Forces “categorically” denied any involvement in the hospital attack, blaming instead a “failed rocket launch” by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, a rival Islamist militant group in Gaza. The US is analyzing intelligence on the explosion provided by Israel to better understand what happened.
Fallout: Several Arab countries harshly condemned Israel following the blast as protests have erupted across the Middle East and North Africa.
Jordan canceled a planned Wednesday summit between US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would travel back to Ramallah for an urgent meeting of the Palestinian leadership.