Tel Aviv: An Israeli airstrike on a hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday claimed the lives of hundreds of people, according to health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave, as reported by Reuters.

A Gaza civil defence chief stated on Al-Jazeera television that over 300 people were killed in the explosion at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital.

Initially, at least 500 deaths were reported, according to a source from the Gaza Health Ministry. The Hamas-run government is in charge of both departments, Reuters reported.

However, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), has stated that reports of a possible Israeli airstrike against a hospital in Gaza are still under review.

The initial investigation by the IDF shows that the explosion in the hospital in Gaza was caused by a failed Hamas rocket launch, as reported by the news organization i24NEWS.

According to local media reports, Hagari said he is still gathering information and will share more information as soon as it is available. He added that he is still 'unsure' of the cause of the explosion, which is said to have killed hundreds of people.

"There are a lot of airstrikes, a lot of failed rockets, and a lot of fake reports by Hamas," he said as reported by The Times of Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen reiterated on Tuesday Israel's commitment to self-defence and the elimination of threats posed by Hamas. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have been engaged in a multifaceted operation amid international calls for de-escalation.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Minister Cohen firmly declared that Gaza would no longer be a threat to Israel or anyone else. Israel's aim is to prevent Hamas from retaining power in Gaza or any other place. He condemned the horrifying acts of violence, including the torture of babies and the murder of innocent women.

"Gaza will no longer be a threat to Israel or anyone else. We will not agree that the Hamas will have any power in Gaza or in any other place. No human can comprehend the barbarity of torturing babies murdering, pertinent women, and even taking out the baby before we are born...," he said.

Minister Cohen also asserted that Israel did not initiate the current conflict but was compelled to respond to aggression from Hamas. "We did not start this war. They forced us to enter this war," he said.

He called upon the international community to support Israel in its efforts to combat Hamas, stressing that Israel would adhere to international humanitarian laws to protect innocent civilians.

The war continues to unfold, with international pressure mounting for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table to resolve the long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict.

Emphasising further, Cohen said, "Israel's war is a just war. We are acting in self-defence, eliminating threats, and the enemy that aims to kill and destroy us."

Regarding the offensive against Hamas, Cohen revealed "So far we have eliminated 1,000 terrorists". He criticised Hamas for its disregard for the people of Gaza, accusing the organisation of using them as human shields".

Cohen stated, "The goal is to prevent peace in our area and to work for escalation through terror and the murder of innocent people. Right now, they don't even care about the people of Gaza. They're using them as human protection."

"We cannot call them inhuman or animals. Even animals don't act like this. The only definition is monsters," Cohen expressed.