Israel ‘proves’ it was not to blame for explosion in Gaza hospital

But Israel claimed radar data, satellite and drone footage plus audio made it “clear” the missile was launched from inside the Palestinian enclave. The Israel Defence Forces said: “The hospital was hit as a result of a failed rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad. The terrorist organisations within the Gaza Strip fire ­indiscriminately toward Israel. Islamic Jihad struck a hospital in Gaza – the IDF did not.”

The al-Ahli hospital was full of civilians sheltering from strikes ordered by the Jerusalem regime in retaliation for Hamas’ bloodbath invasion of southern Israel.

Hamas denied responsibility and accused Israel of lying but the IDF maintains it did not fire any munitions into or close to the area at the time on Tuesday night.

But it subsequently released a dossier of intelligence purporting to show the rocket, believed to have been aimed at the northern Israeli city of Haifa, was launched from the enclave.

In a wiretapped conversation released by the IDF two alleged terrorists also appear to confirm it came from Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a splinter terror cell operating from Gaza.

One says: “They are saying (the rocket) belongs to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It’s from us?”

Another replies: “It looks like it. It misfired and fell on them…God bless – couldn’t it have found another place to explode?”

The footage and recording was released to the world because “someone is doing a fake on us, on Israel,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, IDF spokesman said.

The IDF said: “Following an additional review and cross-examination of the operational and intelligence systems, it is clear Israel did not strike the hospital in Gaza.

“Following an analysis by the IDF’s operational systems, a barrage of rockets was launched toward Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, when it was hit.

“According to intelligence information from a number of sources we have, Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation is responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital.”

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Video appeared to capture the moment the rocket appears to head towards Israel only to suffer a malfunction and change course. It remains unclear why.

Seconds later a pair of explosions erupt below in what Israel says was the moment the rocket struck the hospital.

The facility in northern Gaza was being used to treat and shelter thousands of civilians as Israel continued its aerial bombardment to lay waste to the terror cells behind the bloody incursion mounted on October 7. The hospital was previously hit by Israeli rocket fire on October 14 leaving four members of staff wounded.

The catastrophe had immediate global repercussions and now threatens to escalate the cross-border conflict into a regional and worldwide war.

Hamas described the tragedy a “crime of genocide” and blamed Israel, denying it was responsible.

The militant group said: “The horrific massacre carried out by the Zionist occupation in the Gaza City’s Al-Ahli hospital which left hundreds of casualties, most of them displaced families, patients, children and women, is a crime of genocide that once again reveals the ugly face of this criminal enemy and its fascist and terrorist government.

“This also exposes the American and western support for this criminal occupation.”

There has been no independent verification of who was responsible.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “barbaric terrorists” in Gaza bombed the hospital, reiterating Israel’s military was not responsible.

Israeli MP Danny Danon, a former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said: “We looked into the footage – it was a barrage of rockets that came from Gaza into our cities in Israel. One of the rockets malfunctioned, exploded above the skies of Gaza, and the fragments of the explosion landed in a yard of a hospital. In that yard, there was a pile of explosives, and that’s why we have the number of casualties.

“If you want to be exact it was Islamic Jihad who launched the rocket, and if you want to be more exact in the detail, the rocket was a heavy rocket that was targeting the city of Haifa in Israel, a northern city, with a huge rocket. You cannot blame us for a rocket that was targeted at us and fell on Gaza. Hamas is killing not only Israeli kids, they are killing their own kids in Gaza.”

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The bombing of the Anglican Church hospital – a seemingly off-limits sanctuary for victims of the conflict – was the deadliest single event of the Israel-Hamas war so far.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the blast resulted in a “devastating loss of human life” and vowed the UK would continue work to “protect innocent civilian lives in Gaza”.

Appealing for calm he said “too many jumped to conclusions”, adding: “Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk. Wait for the facts, report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail.”

His words aimed at diffusing the powder keg situation came as fury erupted with Iran publicly stating Israel’s “time is up” and Tehran-backed terror group Hezbollah calling for a “day of rage”.

Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Qatar and the World Health Organisation all condemned the tragedy.

Protesters gathered in Ramallah and Hebron and former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called on supporters to demonstrate outside Israeli embassies.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the assault was “an appalling and devastating loss of innocent lives”.

He said: “The Al-Ahli Hospital is run by the Anglican church. I mourn with our brothers and sisters – please pray for them.”

The cross-border war erupted on October 7 after heavily-armed jihadists mounted a murder spree, laying waste to entire communities as they rampaged through the streets indiscriminately going door-to-door killing all who stood in their way.

The attack and subsequent tit-for-tat bombings has left more than 1,400 Israelis dead, including 260 who perished at the Nova Festival in Sderot near the border. Some 200 more were captured, beaten and taken to Gaza. Palestine claims 3,000 of its people are dead and at least 12,500 wounded.

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