US president Joe Biden has claimed the bombing of a Gaza hospital believed to have killed around 500 people was carried out by Hamas.

During a meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, Biden said: “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” in reference to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Hamas has denied responsibility for the attack and said it was carried out by Israel.

Israel has not pointed the finger at Hamas and also denied responsibility, instead claiming it had been the result of a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another militant group.

However, that organisation also denied responsibility.

Biden’s visit to Israel comes amid a devastating war in the region which has seen thousands killed in the region since fighting began earlier this month.

He had been scheduled to visit Jordan after the stop in Israel, but meetings with Arab leaders there were called off after the hospital explosion.

Netanyahu was told Biden was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the explosion, but the US president also said it is not hyperbole to say Hamas had “slaughtered” Israelis in the October 7 attack.

READ MORE: Israel denies involvement in air strike which killed hundreds in Gaza hospital

“Americans are grieving, they really are,” he said. “Americans are worried.”

Netanyahu thanked Biden for coming to Israel, telling him the visit is “deeply, deeply moving”.

“I know I speak for all the people of Israel when I say thank you, Mr President. Thank you for standing with Israel today, tomorrow and always.”

The two leaders met at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and embraced before speeding away for hours of meetings, where the US president is expected to push for allowing critical humanitarian aid to be delivered to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Counting the dead

Around 1400 Israelis were killed by Hamas’s initial attack on October 7 and Palestine has said 2800 of their people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes while another 1200 are believed to be buried alive or dead under rubble.

These numbers pre-date the explosion at the al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday. No clear cause has been established for the blast.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on board Air Force One that Biden “wants to get a sense from the Israelis on the situation on the ground” and will “ask some tough questions”.

“He’ll be asking them as a friend,” Kirby added.

Protests swept through the region after the blast at the hospital, which had been treating wounded Palestinians and sheltering many more who were seeking a refuge from the fighting.

Hundreds of Palestinians flooded the streets of major West Bank cities including Ramallah. More people joined protests that erupted in Beirut, Lebanon, and Amman, Jordan, where an angry crowd gathered outside the Israeli Embassy.

Palestinian medics struggle

Doctors at the al-Ahli hospital are desperately trying to save severely injured victims of the bombing while faced with dwindling medical supplies.

Video the Associated Press confirmed was from the hospital showed the hospital grounds strewn with bodies, many of them young children, as fire engulfed the building. The grass was strewn with blankets, school backpacks and other belongings.

Meanwhile, the conflict in the Middle East has led to attacks in the West with a German synagogue in Berlin being targeted with firebombs.

Two Jewish schools in an area of London with a large Jewish population were also targeted this week by vandals who splashed red paint on the doors.