7:09 a.m. ET, November 6, 2023
More than 36 hours after deadly Al-Maghazi refugee camp blast, Israel still won’t say if it was an airstrike
Mohammed Zaanoun/Middle East Images/AFP/Getty Images
More than a day and a half after a blast in a crowded Gaza refugee camp, which the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health said killed dozens of people, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it still cannot say if an IDF strike was responsible.
Pressed by CNN’s Rosemary Church about whether there was an airstrike, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Monday: “I can’t confirm that at this stage.”
The blast occurred around 10pm local time (4pET) on Saturday. CNN has repeatedly asked the IDF whether it struck the refugee camp, providing it with coordinates and timings, but the IDF has yet to answer.
Regarding the strike — we are conducting activities in the south of Gaza,” Lerner said. He said the IDF “can’t share at this time the specifics of this incident, but is indeed heartbreaking, the images we are seeing.”
He clarified that he was not confirming there had been an Israeli airstrike, and asserted: “We are going to extreme efforts to limit civilian casualties in this war.”
Health officials in Gaza say 47 people were killed in the explosion, which they blamed on Israeli bombardment.
Some context: The IDF has been striking an average of more than 400 targets in Gaza every day, it says, in the wake of the October 7 Hamas terror attack where about 1,400 people were killed in Israel and about 240 taken hostage.
More than 9,700 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, according to the Palestinian Minister of Health in Ramallah, Dr. Mai Al-Kaila. The data is drawn from medical sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. Al-Kaila said that children accounted for 4,800 of the fatalities.
CNN’s Kareem Khadder and Eyad Kourdi contributed to this report.