icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
21 Oct, 2023 16:04

Israel’s Gaza hospital bombing claims not credible – analysts

Video and audio analysis suggest that a missile from Israel, and not a Palestinian rocket, hit the al-Ahli facility
Israel’s Gaza hospital bombing claims not credible – analysts

Expert analysts of video and audio footage have found major inconsistencies with Israel’s claim that Palestinian militants were responsible for the deadly bombing of the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza this week.

The claims come from Earshot, an NGO specializing in audio analysis of footage from conflict zones and human rights cases, and Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at the University of London.

The Christian-run hospital, also known as the Baptist Hospital, was destroyed in an explosion on Tuesday. Around 500 people were killed in the blast, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israeli authorities have released two pieces of evidence that they claim prove the building was hit by a Palestinian rocket: A video showing a salvo of Palestinian rockets flying from east to west, with one apparently breaking apart with a flash and falling on the hospital; and an intercepted telephone call in which Hamas militants purportedly discuss how rockets fired by the Islamic Jihad group had fallen short and landed in Gaza.

“The entire world should know: It was barbaric terrorists in Gaza that attacked the hospital in Gaza, and not the [Israel Defense Forces],” Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on social media on Tuesday night.

However, teams at Qatar's Al Jazeera and British-network Channel 4 studied the video and concluded that the flash could not be linked with the subsequent explosion at the hospital. Al Jazeera noted that the flash “was in fact consistent with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepting a missile fired from the Gaza Strip and destroying it in midair.”

In a second video shot near the blast site, an incoming rocket or missile can be heard screeching through the air before impacting the hospital. Earshot studied this video and found that the frequency of the incoming projectile indicates that it “approached the hospital from north-east, east or south-east,” while Israel claimed it approached from the west.

Forensic Architecture backed up Earshot’s findings, stating that the projectile likely came from the direction of Israel. Further analysis of the crater left at the hospital pointed to an approach from the north-east, the agency said.

Earshot also studied the telephone recording and found that unlike most calls, in which both parties’ voices are transmitted on the same audio channel, the recording consists of two separately-recorded voices stitched together. While Earshot said it “cannot categorically state that the audible dialogue is fake… the level of manipulation required to edit these two voices together disqualifies it as a source of credible evidence.”

In the immediate aftermath of the blast, Israeli government adviser Hananya Naftali wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza,” before deleting the tweet minutes later. 

Nevertheless, US President Joe Biden has sided with the Israeli telling of events, while Israel remains the culprit throughout the Arab world. “Everybody here believes that Israel is responsible for it,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told CNN on Wednesday. “The Israeli army is saying it’s not but… try and find anybody who’s going to believe it in this part of the world.”