Israeli forces intensified their attacks on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing more than 100 Palestinians in airstrikes on a refugee camp and a hospital, according to Gaza health officials and witnesses.
The deadliest strike hit the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where a huge explosion flattened several buildings and left a deep crater in the ground. Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said at least 50 people were killed and 150 wounded by the Israeli attack, which it denounced as a “horrific massacre”. Witnesses said rescuers searched for survivors in the rubble, carrying away the dead and injured on blankets and mattresses.
Another strike targeted the Indonesian hospital in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, killing at least 53 people and injuring dozens more, according to Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of the hospital. He said the hospital was hit by three missiles that destroyed the emergency department, the intensive care unit and the pharmacy. He said many of the victims were patients and medical staff.
Israel’s military said it was investigating the reports of civilian casualties in Jabalia and Beit Lahiya, but did not confirm or deny responsibility for the strikes. It said it was targeting Hamas militants and their infrastructure, including tunnels, rocket launchers and command centers.
The strikes came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls for a ceasefire with Hamas, saying Israel would not agree to any truce that would allow the Islamist group to continue its attacks on Israel.
The United Nations, the United States and other countries have urged both sides to end the violence and ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.