Reports have come in from sources in Israel suggesting an explosion that struck a the Al-Ahli Arabi hospital in Gaza City Tuesday, claimed by Hamas to be an Israeli airstrike, was actually the result of a failed rocket launch by the terrorist forces of Islamic Jihad.
As reported by Townhall Media, Hamas immediately took to social media and the press to condemn Israel, characterizing the explosion as an attack on the hospital by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). However, footage revealed by Israel War Room on X, supports the theory that the explosion that resulted in heavy Palestinian casualties was the result of a misfired rocket aimed at Israel.
IDF spox Jonathan Conricus emphasized the theory to CNN host Boris Sanchez:
“We are all too aware of the cynical manipulation that Hamas seeks to do by using civilians exactly for these purposes and we’ve seen that all over the many years of conflict that we’ve had with Hamas and more so during this war, they have no boundaries. They bomb their own civilians. They–they attack them and use violence and, in this case…they are trying to leverage this sad incident of a misfire of an Islamic Jihad rocket in order to leverage pressure on Isreal.”
Israel War Room wrote, “Reports suggest that the mass casualty event at the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City was the result of a misfired rocket launch by Hamas. No IDF air activity was reported at the time and the timing coincided with a salvo of rockets launched at Israel. Reminder: 30-40% of Hamas’ rockets misfire and land short in the Gaza Strip.”
In an official statement, the IDF said, “Following an analysis by the IDF’s operational systems, a barrage of rockets was launched toward Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit. According to intelligence information from a number of sources we have, Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital.”
Following an analysis by the IDF's operational systems, a barrage of rockets was launched toward Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit.
According to intelligence information from a number of sources we have, Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is… pic.twitter.com/QZsanPaFEc
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 17, 2023
The Gaza health ministry, a Palestinian government office run by Hamas, claims at least 500 people had been killed in the explosion, and advised the death toll was likely to rise.
Jonathan Conricus, an international spokesperson for IDF, told CNN, “We did not strike that hospital. We do not intentionally strike any sensitive facilities, and definitely not hospitals. We are very much aware of the presence of civilians.”
He added, “[A]nything said by Hamas should be taken with extreme caution and skepticism, and I urge all journalists to be very careful when they report what Hamas says and when they base reporting on those events.
Conricus shared Al Jazeera footage that could confirm the accidental strike as being from Hamas.
Jordan Schachtel, publisher of The Dossier, reported, “One minute before a rocket blew up a hospital in Gaza, Hamas announced on Telegram that they were launching their most robust weapons in the arsenal at Haifa. No rockets reached Haifa. High probability these hit the hospital and set off secondary explosions within building,” also sharing screenshots of the Arabic Telegram post to X.
He added, “There is zero evidence of an Israeli air strike on the hospital, but videos are surfacing of sustained rocket fire coming out of Gaza at the same time that the hospital blew up. Hamas stores ammunition depots in civilian areas, especially schools and hospitals. This is not speculation, but a fact uncovered hundreds of times over the years. This is the tragedy of Hamas rule.”
Schachtel further reported that Al Jazeera has already retracted its initial report that the hospital was struck by an Israeli airstrike.