An Israeli TV station has released new footage which it says appears to show rockets fired over a hospital in Gaza just moments before an explosion killed hundreds last night.
It comes after Israel’s military shared footage and analysis which they say shows they were not responsible for the horrifying blast at the Al-Ahli Hospital on Tuesday.
A video clip from a livestream, aired by Israel‘s Channel 12 News, shows a salvo of rockets being launched before explosions rock an area claimed to be the medical centre.
The station claimed the timestamped video was ‘proof’ that a rocket fired in Palestine malfunctioned mid-air before crashing down and bursting into flames.
News anchor Yonit Levy said: ‘This is proof of Israel’s claims that it was actually missiles from the Gaza Strip shot in the direction of the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City.’
Israel has denied it fired a missile at the hospital in the Gaza Strip, earlier sharing what it says is evidence a jihadist group from Palestine was behind the blast.
Footage ostensibly taken in Netivot by N12 cameras appears to show rockets taking off near the ‘launch site’ and flying through the air
A number of rockets at first pass through the air from the ‘launch site’ without incident
Moments later, an explosion was seen, apparently near the al-Ahli Hospital last night. The Israeli station said this was evidence a rocket had misfired and landed nearby, per the IDF’s reports
Analysts have also continued to call into question the verifiability of the IDF’s ‘evidence’ – and some have already disputed the TV station’s footage.
On Tuesday night, an explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital was reported to have killed as many as 500 people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
At around 1700 GMT (1900 local time) on Tuesday, the health ministry in Gaza said an Israeli air strike had hit the Christian-run Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza City.
The news station’s footage was timestamped at 6.59pm.
The Palestinian Authority’s health minister, Mai Alkaila, accused Israel of carrying out ‘a massacre’.
Officials in Palestine said at least 471 people had been killed and over 300 wounded, some in critical condition.
AFP correspondents saw dozens of bodies at the scene. Medics and civilians recovered bodies wrapped in white cloth, blankets or black plastic bags.
Bloodstains and torched cars could be seen in the hospital courtyard.
Images of the hospital after the strike published by the Maxar satellite monitoring group show the hospital buildings mainly appeared to be intact.
Maxar said their images reveal ‘a probable discoloured blast area in the main parking area of the hospital compound’ with no ‘significant structural damage to the adjacent buildings’.
The strike comes amid a brutal bombardment of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ incursion into Israel, killing some 1,400 and taking many hostage, on Saturday, October 7.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas said after the explosion on Tuesday that the damage to the hospital came from an Israeli air strike.
Israel has categorically denied the claims, pinning the blame on a misfired rocket aimed at Israeli territory fired by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad from inside Gaza near the hospital.
Speaking to media on Wednesday morning, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari showed a series of images, satellite photos and intelligence documents he said proved the damage caused at the hospital could not possibly have come from an Israeli strike.
He explained the images showed there was no structural damage to buildings around the Al-Ahli hospital, no craters in the adjacent car park, and no debris consistent with an air strike, implying a direct hit from an Israeli missile would have caused far more destruction.
‘The walls stay intact. There are no craters in the parking lot. These are the characteristics that show it was not an aerial munition that hit the parking lot,’ he concluded.
He also pointed out images of what he claimed was shrapnel on the roof of nearby buildings, suggesting the rocket fell apart in the air and sprayed its detritus across a larger area.
Israeli officials also released a video apparently of the moment a rocket streaking towards Israel from Gaza appeared to suffer a problem and suddenly changed course.
The projectile is seen soaring through the air before jerking away from its original path. Seconds later the flames from its engines spark even brighter before flaming out completely.
In the darkness, it is not clear whether the rocket broke apart or simply lost its trajectory. But moments later, a pair of explosions erupt in the city below – the result of what Israel claims was the rocket falling back to Earth and striking the hospital in Gaza City.
An IDF statement read: ‘A failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization hit the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City.
‘This is the tragic result of firing rockets from densely populated neighborhoods.’
The IDF argued that an Israeli strike would’ve caused craters and considerably more damage
‘The walls stay intact. There are no craters in the parking lot. These are the characteristics that show it was not an aerial munition that hit the parking lot,’ Hagari concluded. Damaged cars are seen in this image but no evidence of major damage to the tarmac itself
‘Unlike Hamas, the IDF launched an immediate examination’ of the attack, he said, going onto explain there was no IDF fire ‘from land, sea or air that hit the hospital’, the spokesman said
Before and after images of the blast site published by Israel allegedly showed the damage could not have been caused by an Israeli airstrike
A Palestinian girl carries a blankets as she walks past the explosion site at al-Ahli hospital, in Gaza City
People react at the area of Al-Ahli hospital, where hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other, in Gaza City, October 18, 2023
A Palestinian girl carries a blankets as she walks past the explosion site at al-Ahli hospital, in Gaza City
Finally, in an audio clip ostensibly procured by Israeli military intelligence, two voices allegedly belonging to members of Hamas can be heard discussing the explosion.
They discuss reports the rocket came from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a separate group operating independently from Hamas – but against Israel.
‘They are saying (the rocket) belongs to Palestinian Islamic Jihad,’ one alleged Hamas member says.
‘It’s from us?’ another responds in surprise and shock?
‘It looks like it,’ the first responded. ‘They are saying the shrapnel that fell from the missile is local shrapnel and not like Israeli shrapnel… It misfired and fell on them.
‘God bless – couldn’t it have found another place to explode?’
Israel’s official social media accounts shared the clip with the caption: ‘Hamas terrorists in their own voices: Listen to the conversation between Hamas operatives as they discuss the failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on October 17, 2023.’
President Biden – currently visiting Tel Aviv – said today: ‘Based on the information we’ve seen to date, it appears the result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group from Gaza.’
A man tries to collect usable belongings amid wreckage of vehicles after Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital was hit in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023
The scene at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza 18 October 2023 following Tuesday’s blast after the building was hit by an air strike
A boy tries to collect usable belongings amid wreckage of vehicles after Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital was hit in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023
A view of the surroundings of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital after it was hit in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023
A view of damage after Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital was hit in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023
‘The United States unequivocally stands for the protection of civilian life during conflict and I grieve … for the families who were killed or wounded by this tragedy.’
Biden also said the U.S. would provide $100 million in new funding for humanitarian aid in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
The United States has urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid in to help Palestinians.
Israel said today it would allow Egypt to move aid through the southern border.
Footage and analysis coming from the IDF is yet to be independently verified.
The UK and allies are seeking to investigate the explosion after Israel and Hamas issued rival claims about the atrocity.
Hamas said an Israeli air strike led to the blast, which has killed at least 500 people, Gaza health officials have said.
But the Israeli military said the explosion was caused by a misfired rocket from the Islamic Jihad group and released imagery and communications intercepts aimed at supporting their case.
Foreign secretary James Cleverly said: ‘The destruction of al Ahli hospital is a devastating loss of human life. The UK has been clear: the protection of civilian life must come first.
‘The UK will work with our allies to find out what has happened and protect innocent civilians in Gaza.’
Treasury minister Andrew Griffith told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘It’s wrong to get into conjecture and this is a time when we should all choose our words responsibly.
‘It will take time, inevitably, in the fog of these things for the true facts to emerge – but they should and to the extent that the UK has any assets that can be brought to bear on what exactly happened then it’s right that we put those at the disposal of our allies.’
President Joe Biden , 80, appeared to lose his train of thought at his opening meeting Wednesday in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
President Joe Biden (left) pictured on Wednesday in Tel Aviv alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right)
Pictured: The burning hospital building after the strike on Tuesday night
Civilians collect usable belongings amid wreckage of vehicles after Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital was hit in Gaza City
A view of dead bodies after the bombing of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, is brought to Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on October 18, 2023
The scene of destruction at Al Ahli hospital after an air strike in Gaza City on Tuesday
People gather at the site of the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza on October 18, 2023 in the aftermath of an overnight blast there
People inspect the area of Al-Ahli hospital where hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other
Former UN war crimes investigator Marc Garlasco wrote on X: ‘Whatever hit the hospital in Gaza it wasn’t an airstrike.’
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said it is a ‘complete and utter human tragedy’ and called for an independent probe.
‘I think everybody has a responsibility to condemn it and condemn it in the strongest possible way,’ he told BBC Breakfast.
‘It’s a complete breach of international law – the targeting of a hospital.
‘There should be an independent investigation to find those who are responsible for it.’
Dr Andreas Krieg, a senior lecturer at the School of Security at King’s College London, told MailOnline today: ‘Everyone is trying to poke holes in both sides of the versions. But Israel controls the whole of the Gaza Strip and the IDF is quite good at doctoring images.
‘I am not saying that they have. But they are party to the conflict and they should not become the judge on what happened here. It is up to western governments, particularly the US, to really put pressure on Israel here.’
He added: ‘I think what needs to happen is an independent inquiry to show what can really happen. Information now has to come from independent investigators.
‘It probably was a misguided missile but we only have the imagery that the IDF has released. That on its own cannot be the basis of information.
‘We need something literally on the ground. We would need to look at it independently.’
Commentators have noted from the evidence available, mostly supplied by the IDF, that the damage to the surrounding area looked much smaller than would be expected from an IDF airstrike.
RUSI aerial warfare analyst Justin Bronk wrote: ‘No crater or obvious shrapnel pattern consistent with IAF JDAM/Mk80 series bombs visible.
‘Still not conclusive but if this is the extent of the damage I’d say an airstrike looks less likely than a rocket failure causing an explosion and fuel fire.’
Wounded Palestinians sit in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, after arriving from al-Ahli hospital
Wounded Palestinians are pictured on Tuesday at the al-Shifa hospital on Tuesday
Wounded people are pictured inside the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza on Tuesday
Rescue personnel work at scene At Al-Ahli Hospital on Tuesday
Joel Rayburn, Director of the American Center for Levant Studies, said: ‘There is no bomb crater here and nowhere near the destruction that would be required to cause (hundreds of deaths).
‘The initial reports of an airstrike that allegedly killed hundreds of people are not plausible given this physical scene.’
Former UN war crimes investigator Marc Garlasco concurred: ‘Whatever hit the hospital in Gaza it wasn’t an airstrike.
‘Even the smallest JDAM leaves a 3m crater. Widespread surface damage and total lack of cratering inconsistent with an airstrike,’ he concluded.
Open-source intelligence group GeoConfirmed also said the strike was likely to have been caused by ‘a missile launched by a Palestinian group [which] exploded mid-air (reason unknown) and one piece fell on the hospital causing an explosion’, based on analysis of videos and images of the scene.
And sharing an image of what appeared to be fire damage and minimal impact damage to the courtyard outside the hospital, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins said: ‘The is the most noticeable damage to the ground, which, if it were the impact point of the munition used, would mean it’s pretty small payload, although at this moment we can’t know if it’s not pre-existing damage, so I wouldn’t want to draw conclusions from it.’
J Andres Gannon, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, in the US, told the BBC the explosion appears to be small, meaning that the heat generated from the impact may have been caused by leftover rocket fuel rather than an explosion from a warhead.
And US National Security spokesman Adrienne Watson said that, while a full investigation is still pending, ‘our current assessment… is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion in Gaza yesterday’.
The London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) said it was ‘deeply horrified by the horrendous air strike by Israel on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in central Gaza, an attack that amounts to state terrorism and a war crime.
‘The strike breaches all international human rights and humanitarian laws and conventions. Thousands of Palestinians were at the hospital when the building came under bombardment.
‘Israel continues to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza with unprecedented support from its western allies.’
This image provided by Maxar Technologies on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023 shows an overview of al-Ahli Hospital after explosion in Gaza City.
Injured Palestinian child taken to Al-Shifa Hospital following Israeli airstrike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on October 17, 2023
An injured man is carried outside the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday
Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon, called for ‘a day of unprecedented anger’ against Israel, while Libya’s foreign ministry accused the Jewish state of ‘war crimes and genocide’.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, later arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night after the hospital bombing – a remarkable show of unity between two former sworn enemies.
While there, Amir Abdollahian issued a stark warning to Israel, with the foreign minister tweeting: After the terrible crime of the Zionist regime in the bombing and massacre of more than a thousand innocent women and children in the hospital, the time has come for the global unity of humanity against this fake regime more hated than ISIS and its killing machine. Time is OVER.’
British intelligence is working rapidly to independently establish who was behind the blast in a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians, Rishi Sunak said.
The Prime Minister urged MPs not to ‘rush to judgment’ on Wednesday as Israel and Hamas issued rival claims about the atrocity feared to have killed hundreds.
Mr Sunak told the House of Commons that he was unable to reveal the UK verdict after holding talks with the National Security Adviser and the Joint Intelligence Committee.
‘We should not rush to judgment before we have all the facts on this awful situation,’ he told Prime Minister’s Questions.
‘Every member will know that the words we say here have an impact beyond the House.
‘Our intelligence services have been rapidly analysing the evidence to independently establish the facts. We are not in a position at this point to say more than that.’
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said ‘no-one should be taking at face value the word of a terrorist organisation’.
Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK Government.
President Biden warned Israel not to become consumed with rage even as he promised that the US stood with Israelis and their demand for justice after suffering a slaughter equivalent to 15 9/11s.
He delivered a speech laden with anger at the end of a day in Tel Aviv meeting Israeli leaders and victims of the Hamas terror attack.
‘We’ve seen it described as Israel’s 9/11,’ said Biden. ‘For a nation the size of Israel it was like 15 9/11s.
‘The scale may be different, but I’m sure those horrors have tapped in to sow some kind of primal feeling in Israel just like it did in America: Shock pain, rage… an all-consuming rage.’