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Israel-Hamas war: Blast rips through Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza; 52 dead, says official

Gaza Border [Israel]: A powerful blast ripped through the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday late at night, resulting in dozens of fatalities and numerous injuries, CNN reported, citing hospital officials.

Mohammad al-Hajj, the director of communications at the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyr's Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, said the blast claimed the lives of 52 people.

Significantly, he attributed the blast to an Israeli airstrike. "The explosion was the result of an Israeli airstrike," he told CNN.

A resident of the camp said, "We were sitting in our homes when suddenly we heard a very, very powerful sound of an explosion. It shook the whole area, all of it."

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) stated that they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the explosion.

Dr Khalil Al-Daqran, the head of nursing at the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Hospital, claimed to have seen at least 33 bodies as a result of what he, too, said was an Israeli airstrike. He said, "One of the houses in the camp was struck. This house was crowded with residents. Its residents were bombed while they were safe in their homes," according to CNN.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the incident.

Dr Al-Daqran said many of the victims were women and children, adding that the death toll would rise as more bodies were brought to the hospital. Purported footage from the Al-Aqsa Martyr's hospital showed several bodies covered under white tarpaulin, including those of five children.

Jamal Al Aloul, a resident of Al-Maghazi camp, said he was sleeping when the entire building collapsed on him, adding that he lost his two children in the incident.

However, he was uncertain about the fates of others in the building, according to the report.

Another resident, Samah Shaqoura, said, "I saw a red light, then we were shaking on the sofa. I saw all my sisters screaming. When I found myself alive, I looked to see who is still alive."

She added that she later found her father had lost his life, the report stated.

Dr. Al-Daqran also underlined the hospital's limitations in handling the high influx of patients from the scene, exacerbated by a shortage of fuel and supplies, making it impossible to provide adequate treatment.

"The number of people inside the hospital who need treatment is more than double the number of beds in the hospital," he said.

The Al-Maghazi refugee camp, located in the central part of the coastal enclave south of Wadi Gaza, is characterised by narrow alleys and high population density, with over 33,000 people living in an area of no more than 0.6 square kilometres.

The IDF has repeatedly urged civilians in Gaza to relocate south of Wadi Gaza as it intensified its air and ground assault on Gaza City and Northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, there were heavy explosions near the Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza early Sunday, CNN reported, citing the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The PRCS stated that a building approximately 50 metres away from Al-Quds hospital and the Association headquarters in the Tal Al-Hawa area had been targeted by the IDF, resulting in deaths and injuries.

The PRCS described "violent artillery explosions and airstrikes" in the vicinity of the hospital, making it difficult for rescue teams to respond to the injuries in the area.

CNN reported that it was seeking a response from the Israeli military regarding the PRCS claims.

The IDF has been urging civilians to move to the south of Gaza from Gaza City and the north and has accused Hamas of using civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, for military operations, according to reports. (ANI)

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