Deadly Israeli strike hits ambulances near Gaza's biggest hospital

Israel's military confirmed the attack, saying its target was 'an ambulance that was identified by forces as being used by a Hamas terrorist cell in close proximity to their position in the battle zone'

By AFP

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A picture taken from Sderot shows plumes of smoke rising above the Gaza Strip during Israel strikes on Friday. — AFP
A picture taken from Sderot shows plumes of smoke rising above the Gaza Strip during Israel strikes on Friday. — AFP

Published: Fri 3 Nov 2023, 8:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Nov 2023, 7:29 AM

The Hamas government in Gaza said on Friday an Israeli strike hit a convoy of ambulances, which the health ministry said killed multiple people near the territory's largest hospital.

A government statement said Israeli forces targeted "a convoy of ambulances which was transporting the wounded" from Gaza City towards Rafah in the south.

The health ministry announced "several citizens were killed and dozens wounded in an Israeli strike at the entrance to Al Shifa hospital" in Gaza City.

An AFP journalist at the scene saw multiple bodies beside a damaged ambulance.

Israel's miliytar confirmed the strike, saying it was targeting "an ambulance that was identified by forces as being used by a Hamas terrorist cell in close proximity to their position in the battle zone."

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Al Shifa hospital is facing severe overcrowding, with a bed occupancy rate of 164 percent according to the World Health Organisation.

People wait in tent shelters in the darkness as fuel for electricity generation runs out, outside Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City early on Friday. — AFP
People wait in tent shelters in the darkness as fuel for electricity generation runs out, outside Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City early on Friday. — AFP

Some 16 hospitals across Gaza are no longer functioning due to damage from strikes and a lack of fuel, the health ministry said.

The WHO warned Wednesday that the fuel shortage "immediately risks the lives" of the wounded and other patients.

More than 23,500 people have been wounded across Gaza in four weeks of war, the health ministry said, while the death toll has surpassed 9,200.

Around 1,400 people were killed in attacks by Hamas militants in Israel on October 7, sparking the war.

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