Israel shells hospital killing 5, wounding 70

Palestinian rescue workers and civilians remove a lifeless body from the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli missile strike, in Gaza City, on Monday.

Palestinian rescue workers and civilians remove a lifeless body from the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli missile strike, in Gaza City, on Monday.

GAZA CITY: Israel shelled a hospital in the central Gaza Strip on Monday, killing five people and wounding at least 70, medics said.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said the 70 injured included at least 20 hospital staff, among them doctors.

He said the third floor of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir Al-Balah had been hit, with an Interior Ministry official saying it was hit by Israeli tank fire.

Palestinian television showed footage of wounded people, including medical staff, being treated after the bombing.

The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip says the aim of his group’s current battle with Israel is to force an end to the blockade of the territory.

Ismail Haniyeh’s comments indicate that Hamas will continue to reject an unconditional cease-fire proposed by Egypt last week.

Israel and Egypt imposed the closure in 2007, after Hamas took over Gaza from the Western-backed Palestinian authority.

Haniyeh said in a televised speech Monday that “we cannot go back, we cannot go back to the silent death” of the blockade.He says “Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and by its courage.”

Turkey declared three days of national mourning for the Palestinian victims, denouncing the Zionist assault as a “massacre.”

“We condemn Israel’s massacre of the Palestinian people,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters in Ankara in televised comments after a Cabinet meeting as the Palestinian death toll topped 500.

“In a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, three days of mourning have been declared starting from tomorrow (Tuesday).”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal issued a joint appeal for an end to “Israeli aggression” in Gaza during talks in Doha on Monday.

 

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