Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja with agency reports
An Israeli air strike that killed 200-300 people in Al Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities, has raised the specter of a regional confrontation as President Joe Biden arrives Israel today.
The US government, which also ordered the deployment of 2000 Marine Rapid Response Squad to Israel to complement other military assets in the region though military authorities, said there were no plans for direct involvement in the war.
The US and the UK had already moved two aircraft carriers and war ships to the Mediterranean Sea near Israel.
Terror group, Hamas, described the air strike as a genocide and called Arab nations to join the war.
Hamas known to hide weapons in a network of tunnels running through homes, offices and hospitals, which mapping was said to be problematic for Israeli and US intelligence.
Israeli authorities had argued repeatedly that Hamas used civilians as shield for their heinous activities.
Hundreds of families were sheltering in and around the hospital before the strike.
The Gaza Health Ministry said an Israeli airstrike hit a Gaza City hospital packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter, killing hundreds.
The Palestinian health ministry, which is run by Hamas, said an Israeli airstrike killed at least 500 people at a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Israel’s military said, “We will get the details and update the public. I don’t know to say whether it was an Israeli airstrike.”
The air strike triggered massive protests in Ramallah.
Palestinian authorities yesterday announced that President Mahmood Abbas, who called the air strike at the hospital a genocide, had pulled out of the meeting with Biden.
President Biden is scheduled to arrive Israel today before visiting Jordan to meet with world leaders in a show of solidarity as the war between Israel and Hamas rages.
The White House said the president would “demonstrate his steadfast support for Israel in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack” before traveling to Jordan, where he will meet with Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to “discuss the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.”
Biden’s trip to Israel came as the situation in Gaza grew more dire. More than 4,000 people including around 3,000 Palestinians and over 1,300 Israelis had been killed in the conflict, thousands of others injured.
U.S. officials have said at least 30 Americans were among the overall death toll, with another 13 missing.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Tuesday, said a reported Israeli strike on a hospital in Gaza was “horrific and absolutely unacceptable.”
Trudeau made his remarks, when asked about the strike, which health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave said had killed hundreds of people.
Canada had stressed that Israel must abide by international law as it strikes back against Hamas over attacks that killed more than 1,300 people.
“The news coming out of Gaza is horrific and absolutely unacceptable. International law needs to be respected in this and in all cases. There are rules around wars and its not acceptable to hit a hospital,” Trudeau told reporters.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were forced to shelter in a bunker after air raid sirens went off during their meeting on Monday.
Blinken was trying to broker a deal for a “humanitarian corridor” that would allow aid into Gaza via Egypt, but an agreement has yet to be reached.