Gaza hospital hit by Israeli missiles amid strikes
GAZA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Israeli war jets destroyed on Wednesday Al-Wafa'a medical care hospital for rehabilitating physically disabled Palestinians in eastern Gaza city neighborhood of Tuffah, officials said.
Director of the Hamas-run al-Wafa Hospital for medical rehabilitation Tayseer Biltaji told Xinhua that Israeli war jets struck the hospital in eastern Gaza city with three missiles, adding no injuries were reported.
"The hospital has already been evacuated several days ago, after the ground operation started in Sheja'eya on Saturday. There were no patients, employees or furniture in the hospital when it was bombarded," said Biltaji.
Witnesses said that they heard big explosions in eastern Gaza city, and saw huge pillars of grey dust and smokes were coming out from the targeted hospital.
"I only heard in the news that the hospital was destroyed," said Biltaji, adding that the hospital was the first of its kind that offers complete medical care and rehabilitation to physically disabled patients.
Meanwhile, the ongoing Israeli large-scale offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been going on since July 8 killed on Wednesday 23 Palestinians and wounded around 230 others, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of health ministry in Gaza, said that 30 Palestinians were killed, 20 of them from the town of Khuza'a east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, and more than 230 injured.
Residents and security officials said that Israeli army tanks, stationed east of the small town which is closed to the borders between southeast Gaza Strip and Israel, intensively struck houses.
The residents said they urged international and local rescue teams for aid, adding that ambulances are still unable to reach the area due to the intensive tanks shelling.
Israeli war jets and tanks kept striking by missiles and shells areas all over the Gaza Strip, while gun battles on the ground erupted in eastern and northern areas between Israeli ground forces and Gaza militants.
Meanwhile, the health ministry in Gaza said in an emailed press statement that the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli operation on the Gaza Strip topped 660 people killed and more than 4,300 wounded, most of them are civilians.