The Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza has become the centre of international condemnation following an Israeli military raid that killed 274 Palestinians, including women and children, and injured more than 698 others. The European Union has labelled the incident a “massacre,” a sentiment echoed by various global leaders and organisations.

Doctors at Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza have described the aftermath of the raid as a “complete bloodbath.” One medic compared the scenes inside the hospital to a “slaughterhouse,” with the overwhelming number of casualties stretching medical facilities to their limits. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported that both Al-Aqsa and Nasser hospitals are operating beyond capacity, struggling to treat the influx of injured individuals.

The Israeli military has claimed that the raid was a rescue operation aimed at freeing four captives held by Hamas in the Nuseirat camp. Despite the operation’s stated objectives, the high civilian casualty count has sparked severe criticism.

A Hamas spokesman has accused Israeli forces of killing captives during the operation, although specific details and numbers have not been disclosed. The overall death toll in Gaza since Israel escalated its attacks on Gaza on 7 October has reached 37,084, mostly women and children, with 84,494 injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, called the attack a “massacre” and urged for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths described the scenes in Gaza as “shredded bodies on the ground,” reinforcing the call for an immediate halt to the violence.

Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) secretary general, condemned the Israeli attack as “a heinous and terrorist crime that targeted innocent, defenceless people with unprecedented brutality.” He emphasised the need for international intervention to prevent further atrocities and reiterated the GCC’s support for an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the Arab Peace Initiative.

The civilian death toll of the deadly Israeli raid was starkly visible at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, which received 109 bodies, including 23 children and 11 women, along with over 100 wounded individuals. Al-Awda Hospital also reported receiving over 100 dead bodies from the attacks, totalling 210 victims.