Blinken declares 'far too many Palestinians have been killed'

America’s strongest condemnation of Israel’s war in Gaza yet as Blinken declares ‘far too many Palestinians have been killed’ – and IDF are accused by Hamas of hitting hospitals and a school

  • Gaza’s Hamas government reported a death toll of 13 from the hospital strike
  • Blinken said further action was required to protect Gaza’s civilians 
  • Click here to follow MailOnline’s live coverage of the on-going war in Gaza
  • ***WARNING: Contains graphic content***

America has issued its strongest condemnation of Israel’s war in Gaza yet as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that ‘far too many Palestinians have been killed’. 

Palestinians said deadly salvos today hit hospitals and a school where desperate civilians in Gaza City have sought refuge from intense combat that has sent many thousands fleeing.

Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses the White House announced on Thursday but said further action was required to protect Gaza’s civilians. 

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi as he wrapped up a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Asia, he said: ‘Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks.’

‘And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them,’ he said, adding that Washington would be discussing further steps with Israel to advance these objectives.

Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses the White House announced on Thursday but said further action was required to protect Gaza’s civilians (File Photo)

People injured after Israeli attacks, are taken to Al-Shifa Hospital as Israeli attacks continue on 17th day of clashes in Gaza City, Gaza on October 23, 2023

The White House said on Thursday that Israel agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, and the army said Palestinians on Friday were allowed to leave over seven hours along a road south, but there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting that has laid waste to the seaside enclave.

Blinken said the United States had concrete plans to get more humanitarian assistance in and steps to ensure more protection for the civilians but achieving those objectives was a process.

‘This is a process, and it’s not always flipping a light switch, but we have seen progress. We just need to see more of it,’ he said.

The Israeli army has repeatedly accused Palestinian terrorist group Hamas of using hospitals, particularly Al-Shifa, to coordinate their attacks and also as hideouts for its commanders. Hamas authorities deny the accusations.

‘There is no safe place left. The army hit Al-Shifa. I don’t know what to do,’ said 32-year-old Abu Mohammad, who was among those seeking refuge at the hospital. ‘There is shooting… at the hospital. We are afraid to go out.’

Al-Shifa’s director and Gaza’s Hamas government, which reported a death toll of 13, blamed Israeli forces for a strike on the hospital.

Shocking footage from the hospital’s courtyard overnight appeared to show one of the strikes, although it was impossible to verify its origin from the footage. 

One video, shot at night, opens with a view of the black sky above Al-Shifa hospital with the sound of what could be an aircraft and a projectile piercing the air.

For a brief second, a missile is seen incoming at an extreme speed, before slamming into the ground somewhere off to the right of the camera. There is a blast, followed by several more ‘pops’ as shrapnel is emitted from the blast zone.

The camera spins to show the inside of makeshift tents in the courtyard, where people who had just been sleeping and resting wake up in a panic. Others are seen running into the tents in a desperate attempt to find shelter.

In this video still, a projectile, seen top-right, can be seen flying through the air, seconds before an explosion hit the Al-Shifa hospital overnight

Footage from Al-Shifa hospital’s courtyard overnight appeared to show one of the strikes, although it was impossible to verify its origin from the footage

A map showing the locations of the three hospitals that Hamas officials claimed were attacked by Israeli strikes overnight

The person filming walks through the tents and shows the scene unfolding in an open part of the court yard, where a man appears to have been struck in the blast.

There is a spray of blood on the flood, and his leg is twisted at an unnatural angle.

As others in the camp scatter in panic, a group of men with a stretcher run to the man’s aid. The footage ends with them attending to him on the ground.

Palestinian media published the video footage on Friday, that it said showed the aftermath of an Israeli attack on the parking lot.

A second view of the hospital, filmed by a camera overlooking the courtyard, also shows the moment the mortar strikes. As with the first clip, the sound of a loud explosion sends panic through the outdoor camp.

The origin of the missile was not immediately clear from the footage.

This morning, daytime videos had also been circulating online that show what appear to be dead and injured children and panic outside the outpatient’s clinic.

Reuters news agency said it was able to verify the footage of casualties outside the front of the hospital, but not who launched the projectile.

The news agency said it was able to confirm the location from one of the children seen in the daytime video, a girl wearing dark trousers and a purple t-shirt, who is also seen in other footage at the entrance of Al-Shifa hospital.

MailOnline geolocated the two nighttime videos to Al-Shifa hospital.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that Israeli snipers shot at Al-Quds hospital, killing at least one person.

The Al-Shifa hospital, the biggest in Gaza and where an estimated 60,000 people have taken refuge, along with the Rantisi children’s hospital and the Indonesian hospital all came under fire overnight, Hamas authorities said. Pictured: Smoke is seen rising over the hospital on November 8. A camp has been set up in the courtyard

Footage from the courtyard of Al-Shifa hospital (seen November 8) appeared to show one of the strikes, although it was impossible to verify its origin from the footage

The refugee camp at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital is seen on November 7

A Palestinian girl wounded in Israeli strikes, waits at Al Shifa hospital, in Gaza City, November 9

Around 50 people were killed in strikes that hit Gaza City’s Al-Buraq school, said the director of Al-Shifa hospital where the dead were taken.

Israel offered no comment on whether it was involved in the incidents.

Heavy fighting was raging near Al-Shifa hospital, with Israel saying it had killed dozens of terrorists and destroyed tunnels that are key to Hamas’s capacity to fight.

Israel launched an offensive in Gaza after Hamas fighters poured across the heavily militarised border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages.

Vowing to destroy the terrorists, Israel retaliated with bombardment and a ground campaign that the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip says has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians and many of them children.

‘Last night, I wasn’t optimistic that any of my children or I would come out unharmed, given the intensity of the bombing and gunfire,’ said Jawad Haruda, who was among thousands walking south, in an exodus away from Gaza City.

‘We couldn’t wait for the morning, and everyone in Al-Shifa hospital left,’ he added.

Witnesses said that hundreds of people sheltering at Gaza City’s Al-Rantisi hospital fled on instruction from the Israeli military, which was surrounding it with armoured vehicles.

As the fighting raged in Gaza, medical services reported two women were wounded in rocket attacks in Tel Aviv. Hamas’s military wing said it had targeted the Israeli commercial hub.

A Palestinian woman, who was injured in an Israeli strike and was staying at Al Shifa hospital, moves southward after fleeing north Gaza as Israeli tanks roll deeper into the enclave, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the central Gaza Strip November 10, 2023

The United Nations called for an end to the ‘carnage’ in Gaza, saying ‘razing entire neighbourhoods to the ground is not an answer for the egregious crimes committed by Hamas’.

‘To the contrary, it is creating a new generation of aggrieved Palestinians who are likely to continue the cycle of violence. The carnage simply must stop,’ Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, wrote in an opinion piece.

He said on social media that over 100 UNRWA colleagues were confirmed killed in one month of war, noting that included parents, teachers, nurses, doctors and support staff.

The war in the densely populated coastal territory, which is effectively sealed off, has prompted repeated calls for a ceasefire to protect civilian lives and allow in more humanitarian aid.

Tens of thousands of people have fled to the south of the territory in recent days, often on foot and with only the things the could carry.

‘Enough destruction, there’s nothing left. We need a truce to see what will later happen to us, a truce to bring medicine or aid to the hospitals,’ said Mohammed Khader, who was displaced in Rafah.

‘Those hospitals are now full of displaced people and not only injured and martyrs,’ he added.

Palestinian wounded in an Israeli strike rest at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, November 7

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected halting the fighting, telling Fox News on Thursday that a ‘ceasefire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to terror’.

He also said Israel does not ‘seek to govern Gaza’ in the long run.

‘We don’t seek to occupy it, but we seek to give it and us a better future,’ he told the US broadcaster.

Almost 1.6 million people have been internally displaced since October 7, UNRWA said – nearly two thirds of Gaza’s population.

But the UN estimates hundreds of thousands of civilians remain in the fiercest battle zones in the north.

Complicating Israel’s military push is the fate of the hostages abducted on October 7.

CIA director Bill Burns and David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, were in Doha for talks on pauses that would include hostage releases and more aid for Gaza, an official told AFP on Thursday.

This picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip on November 10 shows a huge plume of smoke billowing up into the sky after an Israeli air strike

Smoke rises following strikes on the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as seen from Sderot

Smoke rises after a strike on Gaza. Blown-out buildings can be seen in the background

A view of damaged building of ”Bank of Palestine” as the Israeli airstrikes continue on the 35th day, in Ramallah, Gaza on November 10

Diggers are used to remove the rubbles of a building destroyed by Israeli bombardment as rescuers look for victims and survivors in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 10

Palestinians sit by the bodies of the Hijazi family that was killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Friday, November 10

Israeli army flares illuminate the sky over west Gaza, November 9

Palestinians crowd together as they wait for food distribution in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip

Four hostages have been freed so far by Hamas and another released in an Israeli operation. The desperate relatives of those still held in Gaza have piled pressure on Israeli and US authorities to secure the release of their loved ones.

The conflict has also stoked regional tensions, with cross-border exchanges between the Israeli army and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels saying they launched ‘ballistic missiles’ at southern Israel.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the expansion of the Israel-Hamas war has become ‘inevitable’.

The Islamic republic, which supports Hamas financially and militarily, has hailed the terrorist group’s attack on Israel as a ‘success’ but denied any involvement.

Saudi Arabia is hosting Arab leaders and Iran’s president for two summits this weekend for emergency meetings of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denounced the conduct of Israeli forces in Gaza, saying ‘we stress the necessity of stopping this war and forced displacement’.

Source: Read Full Article