“There are 15 martyrs and the number is expected to increase,” said Abu Selmeyah, who is also an official in the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave.
Earlier today, Israel conducted an airstrike on an ambulance used for evacuating wounded individuals from the blockaded northern Gaza region.
This resulted in the loss of 15 lives and left 60 people injured, as reported by Gaza’s health ministry, which is controlled by Hamas.
Israel’s military stated that they had targeted an ambulance, which they believed was in use by a Hamas terrorist cell.
They claimed that the strike led to the deaths of Hamas fighters and accused the group of utilizing ambulances to transport militants and weapons.
However, Hamas official Izzat El Reshiq denied these allegations, asserting that there were no Hamas fighters present in the ambulance.
According to Ashraf Al-Qidra, the spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, the targeted ambulance was part of a convoy that Israel attacked in multiple locations, including near Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and at Ansar Square, located about a kilometer (0.6 miles) away.
In an official statement regarding the incident, the Israeli military did not provide concrete evidence linking the ambulance to Hamas but expressed an intent to release further information.
“We emphasize that this area is a battle zone. Civilians in the area are repeatedly called upon to evacuate southwards for their own safety,” the military said.
Reuters could not independently confirm the accounts provided by either side. However, verified videos shared on social media depicted distressing scenes.
One video displayed individuals lying in pools of blood next to an ambulance with its lights flashing on a city street, while onlookers rushed to offer assistance.
Another video featured three ambulances arranged in a line, with approximately a dozen people either motionless or barely moving near them, with blood nearby.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his profound shock in a social media post regarding the reports of ambulance attacks, emphasizing the critical importance of safeguarding patients, healthcare workers, and medical facilities.
The head of the United Nations was “horrified” by a strike by Israeli forces on a convoy of ambulances in Gaza on Friday, Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
Earlier on Friday, Qidra announced that ambulances would be transporting critically injured Palestinians who require urgent medical attention from besieged Gaza City in the north of the enclave to the southern part, including Egypt, for treatment.
Last month, Israel had issued an order for all civilians to evacuate the northern areas of Gaza, citing allegations that Hamas was using Al-Shifa hospital to conceal command centers and tunnel entrances. On Thursday
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