NYT disputes some of the Israeli claims about the hospital blast

The video shows a projectile streaking through the darkened skies over Gaza and exploding in the air. Seconds later, another explosion is seen on the ground.

The footage has become a widely cited piece of evidence as Israeli and American officials have made the case that an errant Palestinian rocket malfunctioned in the sky, fell to the ground and caused a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.

But a detailed visual analysis by The New York Times concludes that the video clip — taken from an Al Jazeera television camera livestreaming on the night of Oct. 17 — shows something else. The missile seen in the video is most likely not what caused the explosion at the hospital. It actually detonated in the sky roughly two miles away, The Times found, and is an unrelated aspect of the fighting that unfolded over the Israeli-Gaza border that night.

The Times’s finding does not answer what actually did cause the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital blast, or who is responsible. The contention by Israeli and American intelligence agencies that a failed Palestinian rocket launch is to blame remains plausible. But the Times analysis does cast doubt on one of the most-publicized pieces of evidence that Israeli officials have used to make their case and complicates the straightforward narrative they have put forth.

Israeli officials and Palestinian militants blame each other for the Al-Ahli Arab explosion. Multiple videos assembled and analyzed by The Times show that militants were firing dozens of rockets from southwest of the hospital minutes before the blast, and the fiery explosion at the hospital is consistent with a failed rocket falling well short of its target with unspent fuel.

The footage also suggests that Israeli bombardment was taking place and that two explosions near the hospital can be seen within two minutes of it being struck. Maj. Nir Dinar, an Israeli military spokesman, told The Times that military forces were not striking “within a range that endangered the hospital,” but declined to say how far away the nearest strike was.


That article mucked about but came down on Israel’s side.

Your number now about a week later for the number of Palestinians dead is probably correct…by now…if not more by now.

The issue is what percentage are related to Hamas as in extended family in the buildings or the Hamas member. Israel is not wantonly dropping bombs.

From WaPo:

“None of the more than two dozen experts consulted by The Post was able to say with certainty what kind of weapon struck the hospital grounds or who fired it. But munitions experts agreed that the damage at the hospital was consistent with a rocket strike. They said it was not consistent with an airstrike, which would have caused much greater destruction, nor with an artillery strike, which would have left substantial fragments and probably not caused the massive fireball seen in videos.”



Usually one of the most important elements in investigating incidents of this kind is an on-the-ground investigation, including examining and recovering debris that might provide clues about the nature and origin of the weapon.

Pictures taken in the immediate aftermath show Hamas-led security forces on the scene, with officers wearing tops with logos of the Palestinian police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit examining the crater.

But we have not seen any evidence of weapon fragments being recovered and there has been no significant update from officials in Gaza about their investigation.

Hamas told the New York Times that the missile had disintegrated beyond recognition. “The missile has dissolved like salt in the water. It’s vaporised. Nothing is left,” said Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official.

Experts have said it is extremely unusual for a blast site such as this not to yield debris of this kind. Former UN war crimes investigator Marc Garlasco tweeted: “In 20 years of investigating war crimes this is the first time I haven’t seen any weapon remnants. And I’ve worked three wars in Gaza.”