Lack of structural damage, craters at Gaza hospital site prove it wasn't airstrike: IDF
The IDF claims the Gaza hospital blast was caused by "a failed rocket from the Islamic Jihad", not an airstrike
The lack of structural damage and craters at the site of the Gaza hospital which was bombed, proved that the blast was not caused by an airstrike, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Wednesday 18 October.
Addressing a press conference, IDF spokesperson rear admiral Daniel Hagari said imagery following the deadly blast on Tuesday at the al-Ahli hospital showed “no cratering and no structural damage to nearby buildings", reports CNN.
“There are no craters here. The walls stay intact. This shows is it not an aerial munition that hit the parking lot. Analysis of our aerial footage confirms that there was no direct hit of the hospital itself.
"The only location damaged is outside the hospital in the parking lot where we can see signs of burning," he added.
Hagari's remarks came shortly after the IDF posted a video on X which included multiple shots showing the deadly Gaza hospital explosion and said that "a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation hit the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City".
At the press conference, Hagari said IDF trajectory analysis confirmed that rockets were fired from close proximity to the hospital, adding that most of the propellant (rocket fuel) was still visible because the trajectory of the rocket was short.
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“At 6.59 pm (Tuesday evening), a barrage of around 10 rockets was fired by Islamic Jihad from a nearby cemetery. It was at the time, 6.59 pm — when there were reports of an explosion at the hospital in Gaza City,” CNN quoted the spokesperson as saying.
He went on to say that the Hamas militant group understood the blast was caused by "a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket", but launched a "global media campaign" to blame Israel.
"They went as far as inflating the numbers of casualties. They understood with absolute certainty that it was a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad that damaged the hospital. Unlike Hamas, the IDF launched an immediate examination of the attack," he added.
Hagari also said the IDF had intelligence of “communications between terrorists” discussing rockets misfiring, which included mention of the hospital.
The IDF released audio of a conversation, allegedly between two Hamas operatives, in which they spoke of a rocket launch from a cemetery near the hospital, CNN reported.
In the audio, one of the operatives can be heard saying: “They are saying that the shrapnel from the missile is local shrapnel and not like Israeli shrapnel.”
Hagari said it was common for rockets fired at Israel to fall short “and cause casualties".
"We have counted approximately 450 rockets that have fallen short and fell in Gaza during this war," he said. In the spirit of "maximum transparency", the IDF is sharing its evidence with others, including the US, Hagari added.