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October 17th, 2023, Gaza Hospital Explosion

Added • Updated 5 months ago

Added by sakshi • Updated 5 months ago by Zach
Added by sakshi • Updated 5 months ago by Zach

Images from the October 17th, 2023, Gaza Hospital Explosion depicting fires near the building and the aftermath of the parking lot that was struck.
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About

The October 17th, 2023, Gaza Hospital Explosion, also known as the Gaza Hospital Strike, refers to an explosion that took place at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Northern Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 17th, 2023, with the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claiming over 500 deaths consisting mostly of women and children. The cause of the explosion is strongly disputed among various parties, with the Gaza Health Ministry accusing Israel of launching an airstrike at the hospital and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stating that the explosion was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad targeting Israel. The event and initial lack of expert consensus on the cause of the blast led to widespread discussions about misinformation, disinformation, the "fog of war" and the lack of clarity and accountability regarding real-time events in Gaza.

Overview

The forced evacuation of the northern Gaza Strip starting October 12th, 2023, led a reported 6,000 Palestinians to seek shelter at the al-Alhi Arab Hospital, with many claiming to have been led there as a way to avoid Israeli airstrikes.[1] According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the hospital was struck by Israeli rocket fire on October 14th,[2] and according to Al-Ahli hospital officials, the hospital was struck by roof-knocking missiles prior to the explosion.[3]

News about the explosion broke at roughly 7:20 p.m. local time,[4] with Gaza's Health Ministry issuing a statement alleging that the explosion was caused by an Israeli air strike and that 500 people were killed from the blast.[5] Israel later refuted the claim, stating that the Palestinian barrage was responsible for the blast, adding that the shell landed in the parking lot of the hospital.

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, the death toll at the al-Alhi Arab Hospital after the October 17th blast was the highest of any single incident since the start of the Israeli-Hamas conflict in early October 2023, with Israel claiming to be unable to confirm the number of fatalities.[6]

BBC[7] covered the incident on October 18th, 2023, showing footage from the scene during and after the blast (seen below).



Initial reports claimed that a "fireball engulfed" the al-Alhi Arab Hospital after the blast,[8] with British-Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abusittah telling Reuters that the operating room ceiling collapsed on him before he saw mangled bodies in the courtyard of the hospital where the shell reportedly landed.[9] According to a video verified by the Associated Press, the hospital building was engulfed in fire, and the hospital grounds were strewn with body parts.[10]

An Al Jazeera segment covering the story was reposted by X[11] user @m7mdkurd on October 17th, stating, "The deeper we went into the hospital, the more shocking and terrifying the scene was." It is unclear if the wounded in the hospital were brought in from the explosion that took place in the parking lot of the hospital.


Developments

Israel Denies Involvement In Gaza Hospital Explosion

On October 17th, 2023, Israel denied responsibility for the blast that took place at the al-Alhi Arab Hospital in northern Gaza, instead alleging that it was caused by a failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket, a Palestinian militant group aligned with Hamas.[12] Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a press conference on October 18th that Israeli intelligence concluded that the PIJ had launched a barrage of rockets near the hospital (seen below),[13][14] but an Islamic Jihad spokesman denied responsibility.[8]



On October 18th, the IDF[15] then posted a video titled, "Attached is a recording of a conversation between Hamas operatives regarding the Islamic Jihad failed rocket launch on the hospital on October 17, 2023." The post gathered over 6,900 quotes and 8,000 likes in a day (seen below). The audio purportedly showed militants discussing their misfired rocket having caused the explosion.


The aforementioned post from the IDF received pushback from some internet users claiming that the accents heard in the audio recording are inconsistent with Palestinian Arabic dialects and that Hamas does not use cellphones or real names for locations in Gaza.[16][17] Others, however, spread the recording on platforms like X as they claimed it was proof of Islamic Jihad's involvement.[35][36]

The official Israeli X account also published a statement claiming that the explosion at the hospital in Gaza was caused by an enemy rocket on October 18th, with footage presumed to be proof of the rocket being launched from Gaza (seen below, left).[18] However, the post was edited to remove the video after Aric Toler, a New York Times investigative journalist, alleged[19] that the timestamps on the video indicate that the footage was taken at least 40 minutes after the actual explosion took place (seen below, right). The IDF denies involvement with the post, attributing it solely to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[20]


ישראל Israel @Israel Breaking: IDF Spokesperson 1:15 From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit. According to intelligence information, from several sources we have, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is responsible for the failed shooting that hit the hospital. 19:59:45 the Lebanese Red Cross *** Food stocks in Gaza shops 1- Gaza City Jerusalem, Israel 2023-10-17 19 58 50 Tue 1:12 AM - Oct 18, 2023 9.3M Views : 2023-10-18 00:13:32 -Ashdod, Israel Aric Toler @AricToler The first public mentions of the hospital strike were around 7:20pm local time. This livestream shows an explosion at about 8pm local time. Fadi MakL @fadons199 · 22h תיעוד ירי הטילים של החמאס והנפילה על בית החולים בתיעוד ניתן לראות את מטח הטילים לעבר ישראל ואת אחד הטילים חוזר הביתה. הלייב מעזה מוצג בפניכם. 1:04 AM · Oct 18, 2023 · 1.6M Views שעה 19:59:00 עד השעה 20:00:11 לינק - ...youtube.com/watch?v=UtruJz

Protests and Political Fallouts in the Middle East

Following initial reports of the hospital explosion, many of which accused Israel of involvement, numerous Arab leaders in the Middle East condemned Israel for the bombing.[42] On October 17th, 2023, Jordan notably canceled a planned summit with President Biden,[43] as riots and protests broke out in the West Bank and elsewhere in the Muslim world.[44][45] On October 18th, police in Istanbul also prevented protesters from storming the Israeli consulate following the hospital incident.[46]



OSINT Investigations

Various independent open-source intelligence groups analyzed available evidence in an attempt to determine the origin of the rocket that landed at al-Alhi Arab Hospital on October 17th, 2023, with GeoConfirmed[21] posting one such analysis thread to its X profile and gathering over 34,000 likes in a day. The group concluded that the rocket had been launched by Palestinian groups and misfired mid-air before a part of it landed at the hospital in Gaza (seen below).


Bellingcat published an investigation into the blast on October 18th as well, working to identify the crater formed by the shell that landed in the parking lot of the Gaza Hospital. The investigation found that the crater was inconsistent with the "the 500, 1000 or 2000-pound bombs used in Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs)" by Israel.[38]

Other OSINT groups and analysts gave reports indicating that the explosion was likely caused by a rocket misfire or that it did not match previous aerial bombings by Israel, including the Washington Post's Evan Hill, analysts interviewed by The Telegraph[22] and The Independent,[23] as well as the OSINT team at India Today.[24]

United States Intelligence also reported that early investigations did not indicate that Israel was not responsible for the explosion.[25] During a meeting on October 18th with Israeli PM Netanyahu, President Biden also said he was "deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza" but added that based on what he'd seen it appeared "as though it was done by the other team, not you [Israel]" (shown below).



Other OSINT investigators pushed back on the conclusions drawn by the aforementioned groups, including X[32] user @FSBRG in a thread posted to X on October 18th, 2023. The user claimed that Israel does use weapons, such as the drone-fired Spike, that do not leave "considerable craters" (seen below, left). A post by X[33] user @ionacraig also speculated that the video of the explosion supposedly included the distinct sound of an air strike "whistle" (seen below, right), despite the Qassam rockets often used by Hamas also reportedly making a whistling sound.[37]


Francesco Sebregondi @FSBRG. 6h For the historians here, the "no crater" argument painfully resonates with the negationist argument of Robert Faurisson : no holes (visible in the roof structures of Auschwitz) = no gas chambers = no Holocaust. See @weizman_eyal key analysis of this invalid argument (after RJVP) t 236 1,170 ₁87.8K 17 Francesco Sebregondi O @FSBRG. 6h Interestingly, as I write, same account now publishing actual picture of a small crater on site in Al-Ahli Hospital. 11/x OSINTtechnical @Osinttechnical - 8h Possible impact crater at the Ahli Hospital in Gaza, roughly 1x1 meter, maybe 30cm deep. O 12 197 3 682 ‒‒‒‒‒ il₁103.4K أيونا کریچ lona Craig @ionacraig Having spent several months under airstrikes sometimes more than a dozen a night, often within 100 meters, it was the incoming whistle in this video that was the airstrike giveaway for me. You don't forget that sound. "A fragment from a rocket" is not consistent with this. 0:05 Jason Paladino @jason_paladino. 21h As far as I can tell, this video, confirmed by the @washingtonpost, is the only close up footage of the strike. The whistle before the blast does not seem consistent with the remnants of a falling rocket, or a misfire. Comparison in next tweet. 4:05 AM - Oct 18, 2023 543.8K Views :

UK's Channel 4 also published a report pushing back on Israel's narrative regarding the explosion in the Gaza hospital noting the supposedly unconvincing accents in Israel's "intercepted call" and noting how Israel seemed to point to two different locations as the source of the misfired Palestinian rocket.

Online Reactions

On October 16th, 2023, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a series of posts to his X profile that were deleted following the explosion at the al-Alhi Arab Hospital. Several internet users noted what they perceived as harsh language used in the post on October 18th, such as X users @SaeedDiCaprio[26] and @YousefMunayyer,[27] who gathered over 130,000 and 14,000 likes each, respectively, in less than 24 hours (seen below).


Hurt CoPain @SaeedDiCaprio what did he mean by this Prime Minister of Israel @IsraeliPM This is a struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle. 11:07 AM 10/16/23 from Earth. 5.8M Views 195 Reposts 8,325 Quotes 328 Likes 1,116 Bookmarks 22 This post has been deleted. Subscribe 6:25 AM - Oct 18, 2023 3.5M Views Yousef Munayyer @YousefMunayyer They called them "human beasts" and "children of darkness". They cut water, fuel and power to all of them. They literally told hospitals they would bomb them for days. They've killed over a 1000 kids. Follow Now they want the benefit of the doubt. 4:31 AM Oct 18, 2023 444.4K Views .

On October 18th, X[28] user @ShaykhSulaiman made a post noting the changes in the headlines for the New York Times after the explosion, gathering over 29,000 likes in a day (seen below, left). Israeli influencer Hananya Naftali made and deleted a post on X announcing that the Israeli Air Force had struck a "Hamas terrorist base" in the Gaza hospital on October 18th (seen below, right).[29]


Sulaiman Ahmed @ShaykhSulaiman BREAKING: NEW YORK TIMES CHANGES HEADLINES 3 TIMES AFTER ISRAELI PROPAGANDA- ZIONIST CONTROL OF THE MEDIA "Israel strike KILLS hundreds in hospital" Then "At least 500 dead in STRIKE on Gaza hospital" Then "At least 500 dead in BLAST at Gaza hosptial" 3 Tuesday, October 17, 2023 The New York Times GIVE THE TE LIVE Israel-Hamas War somago House Speaker Election thago Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say THE Tuesday, October 17, 2023 The New York Times LIVE House Speaker Election 11mago Israel-Hamas War 12m ago T GIVE THE TIMES At Least 500 Dead in Strike on Gaza Hospital, Palestinians Say 5:11 AM. Oct 18, 2023 1.1M Views E Tuesday, October 17, 2023 Subscribe The New York Times GIVE THE TIMES LIVE Israel-Hamas War 3m ago House Speaker Election 7mago At Least 500 Dead in Blast at Gaza Hospital, Palestinians Say Hananya Naftali @HananyaNaftali BREAKING: Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza. A multiple number of terrorists are dead. It's heartbreaking that Hamas is launching rockets from hospitals, Mosques, schools, and using civilians as human shields. #Hamas_Is_ISIS

Comedian Amy Schumer was criticized by some for her response to the explosion at the Gaza hospital after she posted an Instagram Story about an "Islamic Jihad missile killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians, as seen in a post on X[31] by @kylietcheung, which gathered over 23,000 likes in a day (seen below, left). An October 18th post by X[34] user @ArmandDoma also noted the changing media reports on the hospital explosion as developments unfolded (seen below, right).


Kylie Cheung @kylietcheung Cool I'm gonna walk into the ocean amyschumer 4m An Islamic Jihad missile killed hundreds of innocent Palestinians in a hospital in Gaza. Many Western outlets published a propaganda LIE, blaming Israel without fact checking. FACTS only reached the headlines an hour later. Fire the @bbcnews @nyt @skynews @cnn editors who put terrorist lies on their homepages. Lies that stoke anti-Jewish hatred worldwide. Hold media prejudice accountable. 6:35 AM. Oct 18, 2023 4.2M Views Armand Domalewski @ArmandDoma I have been told a million times today that a hospital was leveled and took it at face value. Not even the IDF denied it! This photo-published by a Palestinian news service-does not seem to show that. Am I going crazy? What the hell? OSINTtechnical @Osinttechnical - 12h And we now have footage of the (partially) burnt-out parking lot at the Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Overall damage to the structures in the complex appears to be limited, a clay- tiled awning adjacent to the parking lot is still mostly intact. BERN 12:39 PM . Oct 18, 2023 3M Views Mohamed Al masri محمد حازم المصري

Politician Reactions

On October 17th, 2023, U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made a post on X[39] condemning Israel for the Gaza Hospital blast, gathering over 23,000 quote tweets and 53,000 likes in two days, as well as a community note that read "Using geolcation from the live stream of the explosion at the hospital, it appears a misfired rocket was launched from inside Gaza" (seen below, top).

That same day, fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar made a similar tweet claiming that the IDF was responsible for the explosion on her X[41] account, which similarly received a community note that stated, "The U.S. has collected “high confidence” intelligence showing that the explosion at a hospital compound in Gaza was caused by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not an Israeli strike" (seen below, bottom).


Rashida Tlaib @RashidaTlaib Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that. : @POTUS this is what happens when you refuse to facilitate a ceasefire & help de-escalate. Your war and destruction only approach has opened my eyes and many Palestinian Americans and Muslims Americans like me. We will remember where you stood. Dr. Omar Suleiman @omarsuleiman504 - Oct 17 Dear world, Israel just bombed a Christian hospital in Gaza and murdered over 500 Palestinian civilians. White phosphorus chemical bombs confirmed by human rights watch was not enough to open your eyes. Over 1000 dead children... Show more Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN Bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes. The IDF reportedly blowing up one of the few places the injured and wounded can seek medical treatment and shelter during a war is horrific. @POTUS needs to push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter. AP The Associated Press @AP - Oct 17 BREAKING: The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 500 people killed in an explosion at a hospital that it says was caused by an Israeli airstrike. apnews.com/article/israel... Readers added context The U.S. has collected "high confidence" intelligence showing that the explosion at a hospital compound in Gaza was caused by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not an Israeli strike. wsj.com/world/middle-e... Do you find this helpful? Readers added context they thought people might want to know The U.S. has collected "high confidence" intelligence showing that the explosion at a hospital compound in Gaza was caused by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not an Israeli strike. wsj.com/world/middle-e... Rate it Do you find this helpful? : Rate it

As the story spread, various Middle Eastern and Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria and Libya condemned the explosions as attacks by Israel. However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the only Western leader to condemn Israel for the Gaza Hospital Blast, as noted by X[30] user @DrEliDavid (seen below).


Irish President Michael D. Higgins went on record to say that the Gaza hospital explosion should be "investigated as a war crime," noting that there were "contesting versions" of what happened on Tuesday.[40]

Search Interest

Unavailable.

External References

[1] Wall Street Journal – What We Know About Gaza Hospital Blast

[2] Washington Post – Bombed Gaza Hospital

[3] Mondoweiss – Operation al Aqsa

[4]  Newsweek – Deleted Israeli Video

[5] Reuters – At Least 500 Victims

[6] Al Jazeera – Israel Hamas War

[7] YouTube – BBC

[8] Internet Archive – Reuters

[9] Internet Archive – Reuters

[10] Internet Archive – Associated Press

[11] X – m7mdkurd

[12] Times of Israel – IDF says assessment shows failed Islamic Jihad

[13] YouTube – BBC News

[14] X – idfonline

[15] X – IDFSpokesperson

[16] X – ytirawi

[17] X – itranslate123

[18] X – Israel

[19] X – AricToler

[20] Newsweek – Deleted Israeli Video Adds Confusion

[21] X – GeoConfirmed

[22] The Telegraph – Gaza Explosion Missile

[23] The Independent – Gaza Explosion Hospital

[24] India Today – Israel Hamas War

[25] New York Times – Hospital Gaza US intelligence

[26] X – SaeedDiCaprio

[27] X – YousefMunayyer

[28] X – ShaykhSulaiman

[29] X – MarioNawfal

[30] X – DrEliDavid

[31] X – kylietcheung

[32] X – FSBRG

[33] X – ionacraig

[34] X – ArmandDoma

[35] X – YosephHaddad

[36] X – EdKrassen

[37] B'TSELEM – Ruti Ben Abu, 56, describes how a Qassam rocket directly hit her home

[38] Bellingcat – Identifying Possible Crater

[39] X – RashidaTlaib

[40] Irish Times – Gaza Hospital Explosion

[41] X – IlhanMN

[42] NYT- The explosion at a Gaza City hospital draws condemnation and condolences from world leaders

[43] Reuters – Jordan cancels summit with Biden, Sisi and Abbas in Amman

[44] NBC News – Deadly strike on Gaza hospital leads to angry clashes in West Bank

[45] Middle East Eye – Israel-Palestine war: Jordanians try to storm Israeli embassy after Gaza hospital strike

[46] Haaretz – Istanbul Police Averts Attempt to Storm Israeli Consulate After Gaza Hospital Explosion



Tags: gaza hospital, air strike, bombing, explosion, palestine, israel, gaza, idf, al-ahli arab hospital explosion, baptist hospital bombing, fog of war, palestinian islamic jihad, failed rocket launch, failed missile launch, gaza ministry of health, controvers,


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