7:09 am ET, November 6, 2023
More than 36 hours after the al-Maqassi refugee camp bombing, Israel has yet to say whether it was an airstrike.
From CNN’s Richard Greene and Akansha Sharma
Mohammed Janoon/Middle East Images/AFP/Getty Images
A day and a half after the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry said a blast in a crowded Gaza refugee camp killed dozens, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it could not yet say whether an IDF attack was to blame.
Pressed by CNN’s Rosemary Church on whether an airstrike took place, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Monday: “I cannot confirm that at this stage.”
The blast happened around 10pm local time (4pET) on Saturday. CNN has repeatedly asked the IDF if it hit the refugee camp, providing coordinates and times, but the IDF has yet to respond.
Regarding the strike — we are conducting operations in the south of Gaza,” Lerner said. The IDF “can’t share the specifics of the incident at this time, but the images we are actually seeing are heartbreaking,” he said.
He clarified that he had not confirmed that an Israeli airstrike had been carried out, and stressed: “We are going to extreme efforts to limit civilian casualties in this war.”
Health officials in Gaza said the explosion killed 47 people.
Some context: The IDF is hitting an average of more than 400 targets each day in Gaza, and it says Israel has killed about 1,400 people and taken about 240 hostages in the wake of the October 7 Hamas terror attack.
More than 9,700 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to Palestinian Health Minister Dr Mai al-Qaila in Ramallah. The data was drawn from medical sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. Al-Qaila said 4,800 of the deaths were children.
CNN’s Karim Khader and Eyad Kurdi contributed to this report.