Israel Palestine Conflict: Following his arrival in war-torn Israel on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden stated that the explosion at the Gaza hospital seemed to be the consequence of a misdirected rocket fired by a terrorist organisation in Gaza. The United States has now determined that Israel was not behind the bombing, hours after Biden’s remarks.
US Government’s Assessment Points to Gaza Terrorists in Hospital Explosion
White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement that, “The US government assesses that Israel was not responsible for an explosion that killed hundreds of civilians yesterday at the Al Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip. Our assessment is based on available reporting, including intelligence, missile activity, overhead imagery, and open-source video and images of the incident.”
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are designated as terrorist organizations by several countries
While there were differing theories on the cause of Tuesday night’s explosion, many Arab leaders blamed Israel, which sparked swift protests around the region. Officials from Hamas in Gaza swiftly attributed hundreds of deaths to an Israeli airstrike. Israel denied any involvement and then published a barrage of audio, video, and other materials claiming that Islamic Jihad, another terrorist organisation active in Gaza, misfired a rocket, causing the explosion. Islamic Jihad refuted that assertion.
Confusion Surrounds Gaza Hospital Blast Death Toll
The death toll from an explosion at a hospital in Gaza City was reduced by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry on Wednesday from 500 to 471, although it did not provide any details on how the authorities arrived at that number. According to an Associated Press source, workers at al-Ahli Hospital stated that because the explosion had left so many bodies mutilated, they were unable to estimate the death toll. The Episcopal Church administrators who oversee al-Ahli and hospital director Suhaila Tarazi were only able to speculate on the death toll, calling it “in the hundreds,” and they declined to provide a precise figure.