Israelicontinued a day after President Biden visited Tel Aviv and gave the country’s leaders and people his firm support as the Jewish state grapples with the perilous realities of its war against Hamas militants. was still rising Thursday over Israel’s relentless strikes on Gaza — and warring narratives over what happened at the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday night, where Palestinian officials say an explosion killed hundreds of people.
U.S. and Israeli officials including Mr. Bidenthat evidence shows the explosion was caused by a rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group that fell short of its target, but many in the region still blame the carnage on the Israeli military.
Protests have erupted across the Middle East in the wake of the deadly blast, including in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. At demonstrations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said two teenagers were shot dead by Israeli forces. The Israeli military said it was looking into the report.
Mr. Biden backed Israel’s right to quash Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip for almost two decades, but he urged Israelis not to be consumed by rage, warning that wartime decisions made without careful consideration would lead to mistakes.
The U.S. leader secured a commitment from Israel to stop bombing the area around Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip so desperately needed humanitarian aid can flow into the enclave for the first time since Israel imposed a complete blockade on Oct. 7.
But it remained unclear on Thursday when the border would open, and instead of aid, it was still Israeli missiles reaching Gaza’s two million inhabitants. A residential building just yards from the Al Quds hospital in Gaza City was struck Wednesday, sending medical staff and civilians running for cover inside.
As of Thursday, health officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza say Israeli strikes have killed almost 3,500 people and wounded more than 12,000 others, a majority of them women and children. That number includes more than 470 said to have been killed in the hospital blast, which Israel denies causing.
In Israel, officials say Hamas’ attack killed some 1,400 people and wounded 3,500 others.
Follow the latest developments below, and you canto see the major developments from Wednesday.