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Israel Denies Responsibility for Gaza Attack That Killed 9 Children

Both sides have blamed each other for strikes on Gaza's main hospital and on a park near al-Shati refugee camp that killed nine children.

by Olivia Becker
Jul 28 2014, 6:40pm

Photo by Dylan Collins

Airstrikes on a Gaza park killed at least 10 people, nine of whom were children, and injured dozens more this afternoon. Minutes earlier, the territory's main hospital, al-Shifa, was also hit in a separate attack.

According to Palestinian reports, the strikes came from the Israeli military. This charge has been denied by Israel, and the IDF instead blamed the casualties on “failed rocket attacks" launched by Hamas.

In this footage, the body of a child killed in the attack can be seen being carried through the streets of al-Shati refugee camp.

The first strike reportedly hit the outpatient clinic of al-Shifa hospital, before the fatal blasts struck a playground in a park near the al-Shati refugee camp. The children killed and injured were later taken to al-Shifa.

Al-Shifa is the main hospital treating patients in Gaza and has also become a makeshift home for thousands of Palestinians who have fled their homes during three weeks of bombardment by Israel.

These strikes occurred as Gazan families and residents were celebrating the end of Ramadan, with the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Hamas’ Sami Abu Zuhri told NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin that: “Israeli shrapnel has been collected from scene of two strikes on Gaza. Israeli story is to avoid legal responsibility.”

These photos are described as showing children who died in the explosion at the beachside refugee camp of al-Shati. Photos via Facebook/Mohmmed Awad.

Israeli strikes have hit Palestinian hospitals on previous occasions. Last week, Israeli tanks reportedly fired at al-Aqsa hospital in Gaza, killing at least four and injuring dozens — apparently the third hospital shelled by the IDF during this campaign.

These attacks come after several days of intense fighting around Gaza City and shortly after a brief humanitarian ceasefire ended. Since Israel's Operation Protective Edge started on July 8, the operation has left 1,065 Palestinians and 46 Israelis dead.

In this video showing the aftermath of the attacks a large pool of blood can be seen and an orange stretcher is being pushed through a crowd.

Also today, mortar fire from Hamas militants killed as many as four Israeli soldiers and injured 10 in the southern Israeli town of Eshkol.

The IDF also reported that Hamas fighters entered Israel through tunnels under the Gaza border and opened fire on their soldiers. Five of the militants were reportedly killed in the incident.

On Sunday, the IDF published this video of footage inside "an underground tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel" and its detonation.

Last Wednesday, the UN said that Israel may be committing war crimes in Gaza after shelling civilian homes, schools, and hospitals. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: "These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes. Every one of these incidents must be properly and independently investigated.”

Israel has accused the UN Human Rights Council of bias and only ended a 20-month boycott of the body in October 2013.

Over the weekend, the UN Security Council and US President Barack Obama both demanded an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire" in the region.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928

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