’Children playing, laughing’: Gaza hospital a day before bombing that killed 500 | Video

Videos taken hours before hospital bombing in Gaza show families playing on the premises.

Anwesha Mitra
First Published18 Oct 2023
Palestinians look for survivors after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)
Palestinians look for survivors after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)(AP)

Horrifying visuals from Gaza continued to dominate social media and news platforms after a hospital was bombed on Tuesday night. Initial estimates put the death toll around 500 people with doctors working frantically to save badly wounded victims. But as Hamas and the Israel Defence Force rushed to apportion blame, videos that had purportedly been taken mere hours earlier on the hospital premises went viral.

The clips showed children and families playing in groups on the Al-Ahli hospital grounds, clearing away trash and more. According to Turkish public broadcaster TRT World the video had been released by a Palestinian artist.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza also indicated that most of the victims were 'children and women who lost their features'.

 

Hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge in the Al-Ahli hospital after Israel ordered all residents to evacuate from northern Gaza earlier this week. Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra told AP that victims had arrived with gruesome injuries – some were decapitated, disemboweled, or missing limbs – as they arrived at the hospital seeking help. 

Doctors in Gaza City face an impossible situation as they work to save hundreds of lives with dwindling medical supplies. In the aftermath of the Al-Ahli hospital they performed surgery on hospital floors – often without anesthesia. 

A plastic surgeon working at al-Alhi recalled hearing the loud explosion before the ceiling of his operating room collapsed. He recalled seeing hundreds of dead and severely wounded people after the blast.

“The wounded started stumbling toward us…I put a tourniquet on the thigh of a man who had his leg blown off and then went to tend to a man with a penetrating neck injury,” Ghassan Abu Sitta wrote in an account posted to Facebook.

The incident has drawn global outrage even as the Israel Defence Forces and Hamas accused each other of engineering the attack. The militant group blamed it on an Israeli strike while the IDF claimed the blast was due to a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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