Gaza: Women, children among 30 killed in blast at refugee camp

At least 30 people died and several others were injured in a bombing, suspected to be carried out by Israel, on a refugee camp in central Gaza on Saturday (November 4, 2023), the Hamas-run health ministry said.

Air strikes on Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip have caused widespread damage. Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba

The blast occurred at Al-Maghazi refugee camp.

Khalil Al-Daqran, the head of nursing at the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Hospital in Deir Al-Balah told CNN he had seen at least 33 bodies from what he claimed was an Israeli airstrike.

“One of the houses in the camp was struck. This house was crowded with residents. Its residents were bombed while they were safe in their homes,” Al-Daqran said.

Al-Daqran said many of the victims were women and children and that the death toll would increase as more bodies were being brought to the hospital.

Al-Maghazi camp resident Jamal Al Aloul said his two children died as the building collapsed following the blast.

Aloul told CNN he was sleeping soundly when suddenly “the whole building fell on us.”

Samah Shaqoura, another camp resident, told CNN: “I saw a red light, then we were shaking on the sofa, I saw all my sisters screaming…when I found myself alive, I looked to see who is still alive.”

She said her father died in the incident.

Al-Daqran said the number of patients who were present inside the hospital and needing treatment was more than their capacity.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “horrified” by a strike on an ambulance convoy outside a hospital in the Gaza Strip on Friday (November 3, 2023), reiterating his appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire.

According to reports, at Al Shifa Hospital, the ambulances were evacuating critically injured and sick patients to hospitals in the south of the Gaza Strip when they were struck at the entrance of the hospital.

“I am horrified by the reported attack in Gaza on an ambulance convoy outside Al Shifa Hospital. The images of bodies strewn on the street outside the hospital are harrowing,” the UN chief said in a statement, issued late on Friday New York time.

He stated that he did not forget the terror attacks committed in Israel by Hamas and the killing, maiming and abductions, including of women and children. He stressed that all hostages held in Gaza must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Guterres added that for nearly one month, civilians in Gaza, including children and women, have been besieged, denied aid, killed, and bombed out of their homes.

“This must stop,” he stressed.

Guterres further noted that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “horrific”.

“Not nearly enough food, water and medicine are coming in to meet people’s needs. Fuel to power hospitals and water plants is running out,” he said, noting that shelters by the UN agency assisting Palestine refugees (UNRWA) were at nearly four times their full capacity “and are being hit in bombardments”.

“Morgues are overflowing. Shops are empty. The sanitation situation is abysmal. We are seeing an increase in diseases and respiratory illnesses, especially among children. An entire population is traumatized. Nowhere is safe.”