TWO days after the air strike on Gaza’s Al Ahli Arab hospital, the Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera has disputed the Israeli army claim that the explosion at the hospital resulted from a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad.
The Israel Defence Forces have used Al Jazeera’s live feed at the time of the attack as proof that one of the rockets fired from Gaza, as visible in the footage, was responsible for the damage to the hospital.
The broadcaster said its Sanad Agency for fact-checking and digital investigation had analysed the Israeli claims and other “time-coded footage from several sources”, including its own live broadcast.
“The investigation reveals that Israeli statements seem to have misinterpreted the evidence to build a story that one of the flashes recorded by several sources was a rocket misfire,” it added.
After a detailed review of videos, Sanad‘s analysts concluded that the flash attributed by Israel to a misfired rocket was “in fact consistent with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system“, intercepting a missile and destroying it in mid-air.
As per Al Jazeera’s analysis, there were four Israeli air strikes targeting areas near the hospital between 6.45pm and 7pm on Tuesday.
These strikes were carried out at 6.54pm, 6.55pm, 6.57pm and 6.58pm, around the time of the attack at the hospital.
It added that at 6.59pm, a rocket was fired from Gaza, which Israel claimed hit the hospital. Around 15 seconds later, Al Jazeera’s live feed showed the rocket was intercepted mid-air and “completely destroyed”. It was the last rocket launched from Gaza before the bombing of the hospital, the news channel stated.
“Five seconds after that interception, an explosion in Gaza can be seen, followed two seconds later by a much larger explosion. This is the strike that hit the Al Ahli Arab hospital.”
There were no grounds for the Israeli army’s claim that the strike was caused by a failed rocket launch, Al Jazeera concluded.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2023