A spokesperson representing the Gaza health ministry informed the public of a tragic incident at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday, as reported by Reuters, where a significant number of lives were lost in a devastating explosion. Here are the key updates concerning the blast at Gaza’s Al Ahli Arab hospital:
- Ashraf Al-Qudra, the official spokesperson for the health ministry, revealed on Wednesday that the death toll reached into the hundreds, with rescue teams diligently working to recover bodies from the debris. Initially, Gaza’s civil defense head indicated a death toll of around 300, while sources from the health ministry, as reported by Reuters, estimated the number to be approximately 500.
- Amid the tragedy, both Israeli and Palestinian authorities engaged in a blame game, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointing fingers at Palestinian militants for the explosion. He stated, “The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza and not the IDF,” referring to the Israel Defense Forces. “Those who brutally murdered our children also murder their own children.”
- Reacting to Netanyahu’s claim that Islamic Jihad was responsible for the Gaza hospital attack, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, vehemently denied the accusation, calling Netanyahu a liar. He pointed out that Israel initially suggested the hospital was targeted due to a Hamas presence, but later changed their narrative to blame the Palestinians. Mansour stated, “They intend to evacuate or hospitals will be hit, and they are responsible for that crime, and they cannot fabricate stories to deal with it.”
- Gaza, a densely populated strip of land spanning 45 kilometers (25 miles) and home to 2.3 million people, has been under the control of Hamas, an organization designated as a foreign terrorist group by the United States since 2006. The explosion occurred just before a planned visit by US President Joe Biden to Israel, aimed at expressing solidarity with Israel in its conflict with Hamas and discussing strategies to minimize harm to civilians, with a key US objective being to prevent further escalation, according to Reuters.
- Regardless of the party ultimately held responsible for the explosion, which Hamas claimed resulted in the deaths of patients and displaced individuals due to Israeli airstrikes, the crisis is poised to become even more challenging to manage. As a sign of this, Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, decided to cancel a summit that his country was scheduled to host in Amman with President Biden, as well as leaders from Egypt and the Palestinian territories.
- In the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse demonstrators expressing their discontent with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
- The explosion triggered widespread condemnation across the Arab world, leading to protests near Israel’s embassies in Turkey and Jordan, as well as in the vicinity of the US embassy in Lebanon. Security forces resorted to tear gas to disperse the demonstrators in Lebanon.
- The White House released a statement conveying US President Joe Biden’s strong sense of outrage and deep sorrow in response to the hospital explosion in Gaza on Tuesday. The statement quoted Joe Biden, who said, “I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza and the terrible loss of life that resulted.”
- The World Health Organization unequivocally condemned the deadly strike on the Gaza hospital and called for the immediate protection of civilians and healthcare services in the strip. In a statement, the UN health agency stated, “WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital.”
- Hezbollah, the Iran-supported militant organization in Lebanon, strongly criticized what they described as Israel’s deadly assault on the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Gaza, which is managed by the Anglican church. They further called for “a day of unprecedented anger” against Israel in response to President Biden’s visit.
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Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone’s ‘Fighter’ is marching towards Rs 350 crore worldwide. On Monday, February 5, the film saw a huge drop in collection.
Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone’s recently released film, ‘Fighter’, is in its second week of theatrical run. In 12 days, the aerial actioner has surpassed Rs 300 crore globally and is now marching towards Rs 350-crore mark. On February 5, the movie saw a huge drop in collection at the box office. It is to be seen if the film would pick up momentum during the weekend again.
What James Prinsep and his 200-year-old map reveal about Gyanvapi
James Prinsep, because of whom the world knows of emperor Ashoka, lived in Varanasi for 10 years. In 1831, the British scholar drew a lithographic map of the old Kashi Vishwanath temple, and showed how Aurangzeb’s Gyanvapi mosque stood on it. That will now be a crucial piece of evidence.
At a walking distance from Kolkata’s Eden Gardens is the Prinsep Ghat on the banks of the Hooghly. One gets a close view of the Vidyasagar Setu and can take a boat ride on the River Hooghly from Prinsep Ghat.
The ghat is named after James Prinsep, a British numismatist and archaeologist, who made significant contributions to India’s historiography. He came to India when he was 28 and was the youngest fellow of the British Asiatic Society.
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