Horrifying video shows the utter devastation wrought on Gaza’s largest hospital last night, with blood-soaked sheets covering the sea of victims of a violent explosion as witnesses say the ‘smell of bodies’ now hangs in the air.
Hundreds were killed when a massive fireball, described as being like ‘hell’, ripped through the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City at 7pm on Tuesday night, leaving carnage in its wake.
The source of the explosion remains aggressively disputed, with a blame game erupting between Hamas and Israel as the terrorists claim it was the result of an Israeli air strike while the IDF blames Islamic Jihad militants for a misfired rocket.
Heavily muzzed video has now emerged which shows corpses piling up outside the hospital, with some barely covered in the darkness as war-torn Gaza runs out of body bags.
MailOnline is choosing to show the graphic images, also shared by the BBC and other outlets, to show the scale of the destruction at the hospital, where Palestine claims at least 500 were killed last night.
Today, devastated and shell-shocked relatives have been forced to comb through the piles of bodies to try and identify their loved ones, and traumatised health workers have had no choice but to continue treating the patients left behind.
***WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT ***
Heavily muzzed video has now emerged which shows corpses piling up outside the hospital
Victims of the huge blast last night had to be taken outside as the overflowing hospital continues to deal with patients
Scores of bodies wrapped in fabric filled the floor of the hospital in the aftermath of the devastating strike
Footage, shared by the BBC and other outlets, shows the ground covered in corpses as Palestine claims at least 500 were killed in the blast
An injured Palestinian is carried away from Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital after it was hit in Gaza City
The wrapped bodies of victims who died in an overnight blast are being taken away on the back of trucks
Devastated family members are now coping with the unspeakable loss of their relatives in the hospital blast
Blood-soaked sheets are covering the victims of a violent explosion overnight
Stunned crowds have been gathering around to bear witness to the unconscionable destruction of the health facility
People gather to mourn the scores of victims in the hospital attack last night
Pictured: The burning hospital building after the strike on Tuesday night
While doctors were treating patients who thought they were safe from Israeli air strikes in the hospital, a huge explosion brought havoc to a place meant to heal the sick.
As well as killing hundreds, many more had existing injuries worsened by the blast, while the already-stretched hospital is now flooded with new patients wounded in its wake.
‘They are all in a terrible situation,’ Mohammed Abu Selmia said.
‘A young woman whose limbs were amputated, a child whose intestines came out, many others have had limb amputations, bleeding in the brain, bleeding in the liver and spleen.’
Ghassan Abu Sittah, a doctor with the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) who was treating patients when the explosion hit said: ‘We were operating in the hospital. There was a strong explosion and the ceiling fell on the operating room.’
‘Hospitals are not a target,’ he said. ‘This bloodshed must stop. Enough is enough.’
Meanwhile other medics and local people have been pictured scouring the area around the hospital for yet more bodies, with the death toll potentially rising further.
‘There are corpses in the streets. Buildings are crashing down on their inhabitants,’ said Jamil Abdullah, a Palestinian-Swede, hoping to flee the blockaded enclave.
‘The smell of the dead is everywhere.’
Body bags have run out in Gaza, according to observers there, with the corpses filling floors at the hospital needing to be cloaked in other materials.
Further footage shows people’s belongings, including what appear to be clothes and children’s backpacks, scattered among smoking rubble and burnt out cars.
The carnage is also clear to see in the Christian-run hospital’s chapel, with pews and other objects flung with the force of the blast.
Ambulances and private cars rushed some 350 casualties from the al-Ahli blast to Gaza City’s main hospital, al-Shifa, already overwhelmed with wounded from other strikes, said its director, Mohammed Abu Selmia.
‘We are squeezing five beds into a single tiny room. We need equipment, we need medicine, we need beds, we need everything,’ Mr Abu Selmia said, warning that the fuel supply for the hospital’s generators will run out on Wednesday. ‘I think Gaza’s medical sector will collapse within hours.’
In a press conference at al-Shifa doctors stood in a sea of dead children who had been brought from the stricken hospital, holding some of their faces to the cameras to show the horror that had befallen them.
Children sit in the back of an ambulance at Shifa Hospital after a huge explosion, which Palestine blames on Israeli air strikes, ripped through the facility
A woman reacts while holding a pillow as she stands amidst debris outside the site of the Ahli Arab hospital
For 11 days, Israel has launched deadly strikes on Hamas-controlled Gaza – retaliation for the killing of 1,400 people who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death in shock cross-border attacks launched by Hamas on October 7.
Despite the uncertainty over what caused the blast at the Christian-run Ahli Arab Hospital, there was rapid and widespread international condemnation.
The head of the World Health Organisation today issued a stark warning, saying the situation in Gaza is ‘spiralling out of control’ while calling for the ‘violence on all sides to stop’ so that Israel’s siege can be lifted and medical supplies let into the enclave.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said ‘responsibility for this crime must be clearly established’ and the ‘perpetrators held accountable’.
European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen told EU lawmakers the ‘facts need to be established’ and that ‘all those responsible must be held accountable’.
She described the blast overnight as a ‘hell of fire’ and said ‘we must redouble our efforts to protect citizens from the fury of war’.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ and warned Israel against ‘the collective punishment of the Palestinian people’.
An injured man is delivered to Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City after he was injured in a blast at the al-Ahli Hospital on Tuesday
The scene of destruction at Al Ahli hospital after a blast in Gaza City on Tuesday. Israel and Hamas terrorists have blamed each other for the blast
From Tripoli to Tehran, there was a furious response around the Muslim world.
Protesters in Jordan – home to millions of Palestinian refugees – tried to storm the Israeli embassy.
In Lebanon, demonstrators clashed with security forces outside the US embassy. Stones were hurled and a building was set on fire.
The US State Department authorised the departure of ‘some non-emergency’ personnel from the Beirut embassy, citing the ‘unpredictable security situation.’
Hezbollah, Lebanon’s powerful Iran-backed militant group, vowed a ‘day of rage’ on Wednesday.
People inspect the area of Al-Ahli hospital where hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other on Wednesday
The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,778 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded. That was before the blast at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital hospital on Tuesday night.
Another 1,200 people across Gaza are believed to be buried under the rubble, alive or dead. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.
Intensifying bombardments near towns in southern Gaza where Israel had ordered civilians to take refuge are rattling the people gathered there.
Thousands of people trying to escape Gaza are gathered in Rafah, which has the territory’s only border crossing to Egypt. Mediators are pressing for an agreement to let aid in and refugees with foreign passports out.