‘Bodies scattered on streets’: Israel kills 226 in central Gaza attacks

Health Ministry reports ‘large numbers’ of killed and wounded rushed to hospital as a result of nonstop Israeli bombardment.

The death toll in Israel’s latest military assaults across the Gaza Strip has risen to 226 and more than 400 wounded, according to the Government Media Office in the besieged territory.

The military’s attacks – one of the worst since October – by air, land and sea on Saturday hit Nuseirat and Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, with doctors describe the scenes inside Al-Aqsa Hospital as a “complete bloodbath”.

A Gaza health ministry spokesman earlier said there were still “a lot of” bodies and wounded people that were “scattered” on the streets.

The European Union called the Nuseirat attack “a massacre” while one medic said the inside of the Al-Aqsa Hospital “looks like a slaughter house”. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the hospitals are “overwhelmed” following the attacks.

Dozens of air raids also hit homes west of the city of Rafah in the south and multiple areas in Gaza City to the north.

 

Communications were affected amid the intense bombardment, but reporting from inside the “overwhelmed” hospital via a telephone call, Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary said the situation is tense, with terrified people on the street not knowing where to turn.

“There are explosions happening every minute. Ambulances are transferring the wounded to the hospital where we are trapped. It’s chaos inside the hospital. There are children among the wounded,” she said.

Dr Tanya Haj-Hassan, a paediatric intensive care doctor with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), described Al-Aqsa Hospital as a “complete bloodbath”, adding that it looked “like a slaughterhouse”.

“The images and videos that I’ve received show patients lying everywhere in pools of blood … their limbs have been blown off,” she told Al Jazeera.

“That is what a massacre looks like,” she added. “It means parents running around caring for their children who have blood running from their head trying to find a medic to treat them. But it’s so chaotic and there’s so many patients that is vastly outnumbering the healthcare ability to care for them.”

In a short statement, the Israeli military said its forces were “targeting terrorist infrastructure in the area of Nuseirat”. It later announced its forces rescued four captives during the operation in Nuseirat. The four, who were taken into Gaza after the Hamas-led attack in southern Israel on October 7, were in “good medical condition”, the military said.

Also in central Gaza, at least six Palestinians from one family were killed by Israeli forces after they shelled their home in the Bureij refugee camp in the morning.

Dozens of air raids targeted the southern areas of Gaza City, with witnesses reporting that entire residential blocks were wiped out, while gunships bombarded the area near its fishing port.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted to Saturday’s attacks by calling for an emergency UN Security Council session on what he denounced as a “bloody massacre that was carried out by the Israeli forces”.

The Israeli military is only intensifying its deadly campaign in Gaza after an attack on Thursday killed about 40 people sheltering at a United Nations-run school in the Nuseirat refugee camp, where some 6,000 displaced Palestinians were sheltering.

It claimed it killed 17 “terrorists” in that attack, but the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said in a condemning statement that the “school turned shelter” was targeted without any warning and those responsible must be held to account.

Hamas accused the Israeli military of providing “false information” about the 17, saying at least several of those announced killed are still alive.

Source: Al Jazeera