Five days after Hamas accused Israel of bombing a hospital in Gaza City and killing hundreds of people, the armed Palestinian group has yet to produce or describe any evidence linking Israel to the strike, says it cannot find the munition that hit the site and has declined to provide detail to support its count of the casualties.
Within an hour of the blast on Tuesday night, the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry accused Israel of attacking the Ahli Arab hospital, a medical center in Gaza City where scores of families had been sheltering. The allegation was soon denied by Israel but quickly accepted and amplified by Arab leaders across the Middle East, setting off unrest throughout the region. The claim was widely cited by international news outlets, including The New York Times, before Israel issued its denial.
But in the days since, as new evidence contradicting the Hamas claim has emerged, the Gazan authorities have changed their story about the blast. Spokespeople have released death tolls varying from 500 to 833, before settling on 471.
The Hamas-run health ministry has also declined to release further details about those 471 victims, and all traces of the munition have seemingly vanished from the site of the blast, making it impossible to assess its provenance. Raising further questions about Hamas’s claims, the impact site turned out to be the hospital parking lot, and not the hospital itself.
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