Statement by the IDF Spokesman, Brigadier General Daniel Hagari:
“After conducting a thorough investigation by the IDF, we can confirm that the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is responsible for the damage to the hospital in Gaza.
We conducted an immediate investigation with all the relevant parties in the IDF.
This is the chronological order of events that occurred last night, Tuesday, October 17:
– At 18:15, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets at Israel.
– At 18:59, the Islamic Jihad launched about ten rockets from a cemetery in the area.
– At the same time, 18:59, reports of an explosion at the hospital in Gaza City were received.
According to our intelligence, Hamas checked the reports, realized that it was a failed launch by the Islamic Jihad, and decided to initiate a global disinformation campaign to hide the truth. As part of this campaign, they even inflated the death toll.
They clearly understood that it was a failed Islamic Jihad launch that hit the hospital.
An analysis of aerial photographs confirms that there was no direct damage to the hospital; only the parking lot next to it was affected. Signs of fire are visible without craters or damage to the infrastructure of buildings in the area.
This is in contrast to the damage that would have occurred if it had been an airstrike, as we would have seen craters and damage to the buildings’ infrastructure, neither of which were identified in this incident.
The magnitude of the damage we see here is the result of the warhead of the Islamic Jihad rocket. However, it can be seen that most of the explosive material detonated upon impact due to the rocket’s short flight (because the launch failed).
The evidence before you shows an infrared image of the parking lot. You can see the main impact points and some damage to the roofs, but craters cannot be located. All the surrounding buildings’ walls did not collapse.
We have an example of what air-to-ground attack craters look like. As you can see, they do not exist here.
Many media outlets immediately reported the baseless claims of the terrorist organization Hamas. These were lies that they spread.
I would like to clarify: it is impossible to determine what happened so quickly, as Hamas claimed they did. This should have raised initial concerns.
Unlike Hamas, the IDF immediately initiated an investigation at the highest levels. The professional investigation examined the incident using intelligence, operational systems, and various aerial photographs that we cross-referenced. This testimony, which we are sharing with you, confirms that the explosion in the hospital in Gaza was caused by a failed launch by the Islamic Jihad.
I would like to present to you the four main points that emerged from the investigation we conducted:
1. We can confirm that there was no IDF attack, whether from land, sea, or air, that targeted the hospital.
2. Our radar detected rockets launched by terrorists from Gaza at the same time as the explosion. The trajectory of the volley was above the hospital. Additionally, there are two independent videos that recorded one of the missiles falling and landing inside Gaza, suggesting it was near the hospital.
3. We have intelligence regarding a conversation between a former Hamas operative and a Gaza resident discussing the defective functioning of a missile. They realized there was a failed launch and specifically mentioned the hospital. We cross-verified this information with other intelligence sources to verify its accuracy.
We estimate that since the beginning of the conflict, over 450 rockets have landed in the territory of the Gaza Strip, causing harm to its residents. Failed launches are unfortunately common, as we have seen in previous incidents in the Gaza Strip, and it is the Palestinian citizens who pay the price.
It is important to emphasize that we share the information we have with other governments, primarily the US. We operate with maximum transparency due to the seriousness with which we approach accidents involving uninvolved civilians.
Regrettably, many media outlets immediately reported the statements from Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, blaming Israel.
Instead of waiting for a reliable investigation by the IDF, several media outlets echoed the lies of Hamas, and some of these headlines have not been corrected yet.
I understand your desire to report breaking news, but I hope you all agree that accurate and reliable information takes precedence over speed.
The IDF operates in accordance with international law.
In conclusion, this incident illustrates how quickly accusations, in this case, false and baseless ones against Israel, spread by terrorists can resonate and increase tension in our regions.”
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