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Satellite images show extent of damage caused by blast at Gaza hospital

New images by European Space Imaging reveal full extent of the damage caused by blast at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza

Maira Butt
Wednesday 18 October 2023 16:44 BST
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Images show a blast area in the main parking area of the compound with no significant structural damage to the adjacent buildings observed
Images show a blast area in the main parking area of the compound with no significant structural damage to the adjacent buildings observed (European Space Imaging)

New satellite images reveal the full aftermath of the blast at Al Ahli hospital which devastated Gaza last night.

Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed with many more injured according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Matthew Shelnut, Director of Communications at European Space Imaging said: “Today’s image, which was collected at a high off-nadir angle reveals a probable discolored blast area in the main parking area of the hospital compound. No significant structural damage to the adjacent buildings was observed.”

Images from before the explosion show the full structure of the Al Ahli medical compound (European Space Imaging)

In a news conference on this morning, Israeli Defence Force spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said there were no air force, ground or naval attacks in the area at the time of the blast and that the damage was caused by a failed rocket by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

Images show a blast area in the main parking area of the compound with no significant structural damage to the adjacent buildings observed (European Space Imaging )

Admiral Hagari said the rocket had ignited vehicles after hitting the car park causing deaths and injuries as many camped outside. The IDF say large craters typically caused by Israeli munitions were not present at the hospital.

They denied it was an air strike and provided ‘evidence’ including WhatsApp chats between Hamas terrorists and other images at the press conference earlier today.

Many Gazan commentators have doubted the veracity of the audio due to the Arabic and accents of those in the recording. Others have questioned the capacity of militant rockets to cause a scale of damage never recorded before by such weapons, however the IDF report that rocket propellent caused more damage than usual.

The Anglican Diocese who was working at the Christian hospital told The Middle East Eye that they had received warning shots by the IDF days before the major blast which they took as an order to evacuate, however they were unable to. The hospital had also been hit by Israeli rocket fire on 14 October causing injuries.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health report that 471 people have died after the blast (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Other organisations including Medicins Sans Frontiers and medics at the scene in Gaza believe the blast was caused by an airstrike. Foreign journalists and representatives of human rights NGOs have not been allowed into the Gaza Strip by Israel and therefore there has been no independent verification of these claims.

There has been international pressure regardless of the cause of the explosion for a de-escalation and a ceasefire in the conflict which has led to the deaths of over 1,400 Israelis and over 3,000 Palestinians with countless thousands wounded or injured and have caused international outrage and protests.

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