Israel claimed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad is responsible for a deadly hospital explosion in Gaza that left hundreds dead amid the ongoing war in the region.
“A failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization hit the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The Hamas militant group — which controls the Gaza Strip — has disputed Israel’s claim of the blast that killed at least 500 people Tuesday, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. They have said the explosion is a result of an Israeli airstrike.
The dispute over who caused the explosion has left a shadow over President Biden’s visit to Israel Wednesday. Biden appeared to lay the blame with Palestinian militants, telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the blast “appears” to be the fault of “the other team.”
“The point is … that I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” he said, “but there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot—we’ve got to overcome a lot of things.”
The president was supposed to meet with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority while in the Middle East in Jordan itself, but the meeting was canceled in the wake of the hospital explosion.
While in Israel, Biden heavily criticized the actions of Hamas, as he has done multiple times in the wake of their surprise attack on Israel a little over a week ago.
“They have committed atrocities that make ISIS look somewhat more rational,” Biden said.
The Associated Press contributed.
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