At least 45 people have lost their lives in a devastating incident at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The tragic event was attributed to an alleged Israeli airstrike, although Israel’s military is currently investigating its involvement in the area.
Affected Refugees and Overcrowding
The Al-Maghazi refugee camp, already grappling with overcrowding due to people fleeing bombardments in the northern regions, has been tragically struck by this incident. Current efforts are underway to locate any missing individuals. It is estimated that more than 100 people were present at the camp during the time of the incident.
The Search for Survivors
Residents are tirelessly attempting to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble, resorting to manual excavations in their desperate attempts. The horrific blast claimed the lives of 52 people, as reported by the head of Gaza’s Al-Aqsa hospital, slightly higher than the initial figure provided by the health ministry.
Muhammad Al-Alul, a photojournalist, tragically lost his wife and four out of his five children in the blast. Al-Alul, who was reporting elsewhere at the time, expressed his profound regret, stating that it never crossed his mind that his own children might be among the victims. He tearfully lamented, “I wish I had been with them and been killed with them.”
Official Response and Ongoing Investigation
The BBC has reached out to Israel’s military for comment and clarification on the incident. While an official response is pending, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson informed the BBC that they are currently unable to confirm whether the camp was indeed hit by an Israeli airstrike. Lt Col Peter Lerner, in an interview with BBC World Service’s Newshour, emphasized