Tensions escalate in Jerusalem after claims that al-Ahli Arab hospital blast in Gaza killed hundreds

Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem Copyright Euronews
By Valérie Gauriat
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The facts around what happened at the hospital are disputed, with Hamas blaming Israel while Israel - and the White House - says it was Hamas who caused the blast.


Protests have erupted in cities across the Middle East after a blast which killed hundreds of people at Gaza City’s al-Ahli Hospital.

However, there are conflicting claims about who was behind the deadly explosion. Hamas officials blamed Israeli for the strike, but Israel denied it was involved - instead saying that it was caused by a rocket misfire by Islamic Jihad.  

In Jerusalem, Euronews correspondent Valérie Gauriat spoke to the city's Jewish and Arab communities to assess their reactions to the explosion and the escalating Israel-Hamas war. 

One woman, Talya, lost family members in last week's Hamas attack on Israel. She blames the militants, not Palestinians, for starting this wave of violence. She says, "I like Arabs, I don’t have a problem with Arabs. We work together, we are joking, everything is good. Why be like this? Why?"

The presence of the military has become more common in the city as Israel's call-up of reservists continues. 

Yosef is a peace activist, who demonstrates against the Israeli government every week, alongside Palestinian peace activists. 

However, he says that Hamas must be destroyed for any hope of peace to exist. 

"It’s definitely not our bomb. It was an accident from the Jihad. And Israel showed to the whole world that it’s not our bomb... They put human beings as a protection for them. And they don’t care."

In Arab-controlled East Jerusalem, tension is turning to anger. Among the Arab communities in East Jerusalem, most people were reluctant to appear on camera - fearing they would be harassed by the police for what they could say.

But one man did agree to give his opinion anonymously.  

"You can easily tell: Israelis, Americans are right behind [them]... they [Americans] are not interested in Gaza anymore and its people." 

Another local resident of East Jerusalem told Euronews he wanted "to send a message to the whole world. Pray for God."

Our correspondent Valerie Gauriat says that everybody she spoke to appeared to be in a state of shock, amid fears that this could further escalate the situation and develop into a regional conflict.

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