Fact checkers provide evidence of Israel's responsibility for Ahli Baptist hospital strike

Ahmed Seif , Friday 20 Oct 2023

An investigation by Sanad Agency, a fact-checking agency for Al Jazeera, has presented evidence contradicting the Israeli military's assertion that a strike on a Gaza hospital was caused by a Palestinian rocket misfire.

A view of the surroundings of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital after it was hit in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023. AP


Through careful examination of video footage captured during the bombing of Gaza's Al-Ahli Arabi 'Baptist' Hospital, Sanad identified four distinct Israeli airstrikes targeting areas surrounding the hospital.

The agency analyzed footage showing multiple rocket launches from Gaza that were all intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system.

The specific rocket Israel claims malfunctioned and struck the hospital can be seen in a video intercepted by Iron Dome at 6:59 p.m. This was the final rocket fired from Gaza before the hospital bombing took place seconds later, confirming the strike could not have been from a Palestinian rocket as claimed by the Israeli military.

While distancing themselves from responsibility, the Israeli Occupation Forces released an audio recording purporting to show the strike was perpetrated by Islamic Jihad militants. However, Sanad's comprehensive analysis of all available evidence concludes Israel's claim is false. 

The Turkish Presidential Directorate of Communications' Center for Combating Disinformation (DMM) said on social media that allegations Hamas struck the hospital are untrue.

Analysis of footage shows the devastating munitions were not the type typically used by Hamas, the statement read. Images shared by Israeli accounts claiming a "Hamas missile" hit the hospital were actually from 2022, not 2023.

DMM also added in its statement: "Upon analyzing the unedited footage, it was concluded that the missiles launched from Gaza were aimed towards Israel, and the hospital that was struck was not in the path of those missiles."

Israel recently demanded hospitals evacuate, alleging they sheltered Hamas - suggesting it intentionally attacked Al-Ahli hospital, DMM said. Claims on social media that a Gaza official admitted Hamas' culpability are false - the 'Gaza Report' account is not official and spreads misinformation, DMM found.

Also, Reuters Fact Check has reported that a video circulating on social media, which purportedly shows a missile striking Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital in October 2023, is actually from August 2022.

The video, filmed in Gaza, was falsely shared as live footage of the hospital being bombed by a misfired rocket launched by Hamas. However, it was uploaded to YouTube on August 7, 2022, referencing a 2022 incident during a conflict between Hamas and Israel. The location in the video matches the Municipality of Gaza, as confirmed by Google Street View images.

Tuesday's Israeli air strikes on Al-Ahli Hospital killed at least 600 people. The hospital was housing hundreds of sick and wounded, and people displaced by other strikes.

On Wednesday, President Biden backed Israel's claim that a Palestinian group bombed the Gaza hospital. When pressed on his confidence Israel was not responsible, Biden cited "data from my Defense Department."

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