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The UK government has judged that a deadly blast at a Gaza hospital last week was “likely caused by a missile, or part of one, that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel”, Rishi Sunak has told MPs.
The atrocity at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital last Tuesday provoked condemnation around the world as well as rival claims about who was to blame.
Israel and Hamas both issued competing versions of events regarding the cause of the blast, with the Palestinian militant group blaming an Israeli airstrike. The Hamas-run health ministry has claimed nearly 500 people died but declined to release further details about the victims.
The Israeli military blamed a misfiring rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and released imagery and communications intercepts it said supported its case.
Speaking to MPs, Sunak hit out at the “misreporting” of the incident, which he said had a “negative effect in the region, including on a vital US diplomatic effort and on tensions here at home”.
He added: “We need to learn the lessons and ensure that in future there is no rush to judgement.”
France, Canada and the US have all indicated Israel was not to blame for the blast.
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