Israel-Hamas war: Palestinian ambassador blames Gaza hospital blast on Israel

The Palestinian ambassador to the UK has claimed Israel was responsible for a hospital blast in Gaza that killed hundreds.

The al Ahli hospital in the north of the strip was bombed on Tuesday evening. The Hamas-led Palestinian health ministry said the blast killed more than 470 people, while US intelligence estimated between 100 to 300 died.

Hamas said this was caused by an Israeli air strike. But this has been denied by the Israel Defence Forces, who said the blast was caused by a rocket misfired by Hamas ally Palestinian Islamic Jihad - a claim the group refute.

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Overnight, Canada became the latest country to back Israel's version of events, after US President Joe Biden claimed the blast was perpetrated by "the other team" during his visit to Tel Aviv last week.

The UK has remined more cautious, with Rishi Sunak warning against a "rush to judgment" over who was behind the explosion while the government looks at the evidence.

But speaking to Sky News' Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips today, Husam Zomlot - who represents the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and condemns the attacks of Hamas - blamed Israel.

"Practically speaking, we don't believe that firepower is owned by anybody, not only in Palestine, but in the region, except Israel," the ambassador said.

He added: "I know exactly the Israeli track record for 75 years... when they see an outcry by people of conscience... when they know that what they did was absolutely horrific, the first thing they do [is] they deny it.

"And the logic, always the logic... is it's the Palestinians killing themselves."

Mr Zomlot doubled down on his conclusion, saying his organisation was "certain [the blast] was an Israeli bombardment", but he said the PLO would accept the conclusions of a British prosecutor from the International Criminal Court when their investigation was completed.

He also appealed to both the media and the public not just to focus on the hospital blast, claiming: "Only a day later [Israel] bombarded the third oldest church on earth... killing 18 Palestinian Christians.

"[You can] tell me this is about Hamas, but that is Israel."

The ambassador also used the interview to condemn the Hamas' attack on 7 October, saying: "It's tragic, and I feel with every family. I lost six of my extended family only last week. I know what it feels [like]."

But he said Palestinians currently felt "unseen" amid the conflict and the "humanitarian catastrophe" playing out in Gaza, saying there was "carnage" and "horror" everywhere and the situation was "unprecedented".

"I offer my condolences to civilian lives, of course," said Mr Zomlot. "But this is not about the answer, this is about the question - the question insinuates our lives matter less.

"Killings in the West Bank have been happening all over last year and this year, house demolitions this year in record numbers, this conversation never happens until Israelis are harmed.

"Our lives matter. All human beings are equal."

Mr Zomlot said the PLO stands by calls for a two-state solution - like the UK and US - but added: "The Israeli unwillingness to go on that path has created all this situation, not only in Gaza.

"What Israel is doing is nothing to do with Hamas - it is revenge and supremacists who want to use the moment to finish off [the two state solution]."