Hamas claims 471 killed in hospital blast, Strip death toll up to 3,478

A spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims that 471 people were killed in an explosion and fire at al-Ahli hospital in central Gaza, with another 28 people in critical condition.

The spokesperson continues to blame Israel for the blast, despite evidence presented by Israel showing that it was caused by an errant Islamic Jihad rocket.

Pictures from the scene show cars in a parking lot badly torched and damage from shrapnel in surrounding buildings, but little rubble, with structures appearing to remain intact.

Palestinians check the place of the explosion at al-Ahli hospital, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP/Abed Khaled)

The ministry says 3,478 people have been killed since Israel began bombing the Strip on October 7, in reaction to a Hamas onslaught in which some 1,400 Israelis were massacred.

He claims hospitals in the Strip are on the verge of collapse.

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