The Intercepted Communications: Hospital Blast Caused by Misfired Islamic Jihad Rocket
Jerusalem, 18 October, 2023 (TPS) -- Briefing reporters on Wednesday morning, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that intercepted communications among the Gaza terror groups proved that Tuesday night’s devastating explosion at a Gaza hospital was caused by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.
The blast destroyed the Al Alhi Hospital in northern Gaza as Palestinian terrorists fired heavy barrages of rockets at southern and central Israel, triggering alarms in Rishon Letzion, Petach Tikvah, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Bat Yam and other localities.
“According to our intelligence, Hamas checked the reports, understood it was an Islamic Jihad rocket that had misfired, and decided to launch a global media campaign to hide what really happened,” Hagari said.
“They went as far as to inflate the number of casualties,” he added.
Hagari added that Israeli ordnance would have left a crater in the parking lot. Aerial drone footage showed blast causing fires and leaving shrapnel marks on nearby buildings.
Had this been an Israeli strike, Hagari said, “We would have seen craters and structural damage to the building, both of which were not identified in this incident.”
The IDF released the intercepted recording. A man identified as a Hamas operative says in Arabic, “I’m telling you, this is the first time that we see a missile like this falling, and so that’s why we are saying it belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
In response to the second operative’s disbelief, the first one reiterated, “They are saying it belongs to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
He went on to add that the shrapnel “is local shrapnel and not like Israeli shrapnel” and later noted that “they shot it from the cemetery behind the Al-Ma’amadani Hospital, and it misfired and fell on them.”
During fighting in May, failed rocket launches by Palestinian Islamic Jihad killed four Gaza civilians.
The Hamas-affiliated Gaza Health Ministry claimed that “hundreds of people” were killed, a number that has not been independently corroborated.
Unverified news reports blaming Israel sparked riots in Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Shechem (Nablus) and Jenin. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning and cancelled a meeting on Wednesday with US President Joe Biden, who is due to arrive in the region on Wednesday.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog tweeted on Tuesday night, “An Islamic Jihad missile has killed many Palestinians at a Gazan hospital — a place where lives should be saved. Shame on the media who swallow the lies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad — broadcasting a 21st-century blood libel around the globe. Shame on the vile terrorists in Gaza who willfully spill the blood of the innocent.”