According to Israeli findings, the explosion in a hospital in the Gaza Strip with many deaths was clearly caused by militant Palestinians. Israel’s military released footage on Wednesday that purports to prove that a misguided rocket from the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad was responsible for the impact on the Al-Ahli clinic. She rejected that. The aerial photos show the hospital and a parking lot where a fire broke out. Hundreds of people are said to have been killed as a result. An independent verification of the information was initially not possible.

After the devastating explosion, the Arab world, including among Western allies, immediately blamed Israel. Angry protests followed in several countries, including Germany.

What the Israeli side says:

The published video compilation compares aerial photos before and after the fatal incident. It was said that no typical crater could be seen, as is usually the case during Israeli air strikes. According to the army, a misguided Islamic Jihad rocket hit there instead. Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus also told US broadcaster CNN that the military had evidence of a conversation between Hamas terrorists intercepted by Israel. They would have said, “Oh, there was apparently a malfunction or an explosion of a rocket that landed in the Gaza Strip.” In addition, shortly before the incident, a volley of rockets was fired from the central or northern section of the Gaza Strip towards Israel. This was recorded on Israel’s radar system.

What the Palestinian side says:

The militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad rejected the Israelis’ blame. The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of the ruling Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas, said that “several hundred” people were killed and injured in an Israeli airstrike on the hospital. An exact number was not given.

Since the Gaza war began on October 7th, around 3,200 people have died in the Gaza Strip. Around 11,000 others were injured, the ministry said on Wednesday. In Israel, more than 1,400 people were killed in massacres commissioned by Hamas in the border area and in the days that followed. According to the Israeli government, around 4,400 people were injured.

Several Arab states also blame Israel

Saudi Arabia strongly condemned the “heinous crime” – and blamed Israel for it, according to a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Riyadh condemns the “continued attacks by the Israeli occupation” on civilians. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also blamed Israel. Morocco also “strongly condemned” the “bombing” of the clinic “by Israeli forces.” Bahrain also joined in the criticism of the “Israeli bombing.”

UN Secretary General calls for ceasefire

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ceasefire. “I call for an immediate ceasefire to provide enough time and space for my two calls to be realized and the epic human suffering to be alleviated,” he said in Beijing on Wednesday. By this he meant his call for Hamas to release hostages and for Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The Israeli army called on residents of Gaza city and the northern Gaza Strip to go to a “humanitarian area” south of Wadi Gaza (riverbed). Humanitarian aid should be made available there, according to the call published on Wednesday. The area is located in Al-Mawasi. The army also recommended moving to open areas to the west of Khan Yunis, also in the Al-Mawasi area, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Guterres travels to Cairo in view of the escalation of violence. According to the UN, he wants to meet there from Thursday, among others, with Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in order to have the Rafah border crossing from the Sinai Peninsula to Gaza opened.

US President wants to ask “hard questions” in Israel

The Israeli military released the footage of the rocket strike in the Gaza Strip shortly before US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Tel Aviv. Biden reacted with dismay to the missile strike. He was “outraged and deeply saddened,” it said. During his visit to Israel, Biden also wanted to ask “hard questions,” said John Kirby, communications director for the US government’s National Security Council, during the flight. Among other things, Biden wants to hear more about Israel’s goals and plans in the coming days and weeks. The US President will also make it very clear that the US does not want the conflict to expand, it was said.

Following his short visit to Israel, Biden originally wanted to go to Jordan to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Jordan canceled the meeting in consultation with the US delegation, said Kirby. Abbas will not travel because of three days of mourning after the explosion. Biden will talk to Abbas and Al-Sisi on the return flight. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi told Jordanian TV channel Al-Mamlaka that the meeting would only take place once there was an agreement to end the war and stop “these massacres.”

Scholz now in Egypt

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) arrived in the Egyptian capital from Israel on Wednesday night after the departure was delayed due to rocket alarms. Scholz wants to meet Egypt’s head of state in the morning. On the same day, the UN Security Council is scheduled to deal with the missile strike.