Al Jazeera investigation debunks Israeli fabrications around hospital massacre in Gaza.
Al Jazeera’s digital investigation team has debunked Israeli claims that a failed Islamic Jihad rocket allegedly caused the tragic massacre at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which claimed the lives of over 500 Palestinians.
Since Tuesday evening, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued conflicting statements, initially suggesting that “weapons and explosives were deliberately stored inside the hospital,” only to later blame the catastrophe on a “malfunctioning rocket” from Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
An Israeli military spokesman repeated those claims on an interview with CNN and pointed towards a screenshot of an Al Jazeera live broadcast allegedly showing the strike that hit the hospital before the moment of impact.
In response, the Qatar-based network said it launched its own analysis using various live streams, including those by Israeli channels.
The digital analysis SANAD team dissected the events carried out an in-depth examination of the incident, scanning footage frame-by-frame to capture rockets launched both from Israel and Gaza during the night of the attack.
The investigation began with footage from 6:45 PM on October 17, and saw SANAD’s experts look into the station’s live-streams to present a chronological sequence of events.
The team pinpointed four of Israeli airstrikes on the vicinity of the hospital at 6:54 PM, 6:55 PM, 6:57 PM, and 6:58 PM.
Multiple video clips also displayed an array of rocket launches from Gaza, all appearing to be intercepted by Israel’s automatic air defence system, the Iron Dome.
However, a pivotal moment emerges at 6:59 PM, capturing a rocket – the one attributed to the strike on the hospital – being intercepted and destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.
Al Jazeera’s close analysis of the live feed has led to a conclusive revelation, which evidently shows that the rocket was not only intercepted but was also entirely disintegrated and obliterated in the skies over Gaza.
It was the last rocket launched from Gaza before the hospital bombing.
As the live stream continues, viewers witness a devastating explosion in Gaza, five seconds after the interception. Two seconds later, a larger explosion follows. These critical moments, as Al Jazeera asserts, are a visual testament to the strike on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital.
Al Jazeera’s digital investigation team said it found no substantiated ground for the Israeli army’s argument that the hospital massacre resulted from a failed rocket launch.
The Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) distanced itself from the hospital massacre on Tuesday and immediately attributed it to Palestinian factions operating in Gaza following global outrage.
However, the denial appeared to come too little too late.
Hananya Naftali, a digital aide to Israel’s Netanyahu had already confirmed the Israeli Air Force targeted “a Hamas base within a hospital” before then removing the post.
Later, Naftali issued an apology on X for sharing a “Reuters report” that inaccurately alleged Israel’s involvement in the hospital massacre. He confirmed that he had since deleted the tweet, asserting: “As the [Israeli army] does not bomb hospitals, I assumed Israel was targeting one of the Hamas bases in Gaza.”
While Israel claimed intelligence indicated Islamic Jihad’s role in the disaster, Raf Sanchez, an NBC News foreign correspondent, rebutted that Islamic Jihad rockets “do not tend to kill hundreds of people in a single strike”.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, went on record calling Netanyahu a “liar.”
Days earlier on October 13, a children’s hospital in Gaza was targeted using white phosphorus. On October 14 and 16, Israel ordered the evacuation of 22 hospitals, including Al-Ahli, and those designated as ‘Safe Zone’ hospitals.
A video shared on X shows an analysis by a Marine Corps veteran, which has offered critical insights into the incident.
His analysis revealed that the initial explosion likely lasted between 0.5-0.75 seconds, indicating it was not an incendiary device.
The type and extent of damage suggest the involvement of an explosive device ranging between 300-600 lbs., implicating munitions like the Mk-82/Mk-83, GBU-39, GBU-12, and AGM-65 Maverick Missile, all unavailable to Islamic Jihad.
Audio analysis also revealed that the sound of the explosion was consistent with a JDAM missile, a capability beyond Islamic Jihad’s arsenal.
In over just 13 days, at least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry in Gaza said on Thursday, putting the number of injuries at 13,750.