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Deadliest Israeli attack on Gaza hospital leaves over 500 martyred; death toll tops 3,000

A tragic incident occurred on Tuesday in Gaza, where an explosion at a hospital claimed the lives of at least 500 Palestinians, pushing the overall death toll beyond 3,000. Palestinian health officials attributed the explosion to an Israeli air attack. This devastating event marked the deadliest bombardment at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza since Israel initiated airstrikes in response to an attack by Hamas on southern Israeli communities on October 7.

Additionally, an Israeli air strike targeted a school operated by the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, resulting in the deaths of at least six Palestinians. The violence escalated while Washington announced President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel on Wednesday, demonstrating support for Israel’s actions against the Palestinian resistance group.

Israel had vowed to eliminate the group after Hamas gunmen crossed the border, causing the deadliest single day in Israel’s 75-year history with 1,300 casualties in southern Israel on October 7. Since then, Israel intensified its attacks on densely populated parts of Gaza, leading to widespread displacement of its 2.3 million population, along with a total blockade that halted essential supplies, including food, fuel, and medical resources.

Amidst the chaos, Israeli forces and tanks amassed on the border, indicating a potential ground invasion. Efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza faced challenges, with trucks carrying vital supplies attempting to reach the enclave through the Rafah crossing in Egypt, the only access point outside Israeli control. The situation remained uncertain regarding their entry.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed Biden’s visit plans after discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel agreed to collaborate on a plan to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians. Biden aimed to understand Israel’s defense needs while ensuring operations minimize civilian casualties and facilitate humanitarian aid without benefiting Hamas, according to Blinken.

Israel’s national security adviser stated that the US would intervene if the situation escalated further, particularly if Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah joined in support of the Palestinian resistance group. Washington sought support from Arab states to prevent a broader regional conflict after Iran pledged “pre-emptive action” from its allies.

Following his visit to Israel, President Biden was expected to travel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He would also meet Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, who accused Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

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