Amidst the ongoing conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas, the United Nations has urged for an impartial international inquiry into the destructive explosion at Gaza City’s crowded hospital.
According to the US State Department, the United States said they do not consider it appropriate to have an international investigation into the attack.
The explosion at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip led to a blame game, with Palestinian officials holding Israel responsible, while the Israeli army attributed it to a misfired rocket by the armed group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which denied the accusation. The United States, an ally of Israel, also sided with Israel, whereas Arab states placed the blame on Israel.
After conducting a video analysis and examining the evidence provided by both sides, Channel 4 has stated that there is no conclusive evidence linking the midair and ground explosions. The investigation into the second blast at al-Ahli hospital has yet to yield definitive proof regarding the responsible party.
Some organizations have pointed out that the size of the crater left by the attack does not align with Israel’s typical weaponry. Nonetheless, the possibility of a different kind of artillery being used cannot be dismissed.
According to the broadcaster’s analysis, a ground detonation from an Israeli missile seems unlikely based on the available evidence. However, the possibility of an airburst munition, which could cause significant casualties while inflicting less structural damage, has not been ruled out.
Moreover, the BBC’s scrutiny of the events presented by Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari revealed inconsistencies. The spokesperson claimed the missile was launched from a nearby cemetery, yet footage reviewed by the British network showed a different launch site on the spokesman’s map, and no cemetery could be found in that location.
The absence of missile fragments is also noted as crucial missing evidence. Usually, the remnants of a missile can help determine its origin, but in this case, such evidence has not been discovered thus far.
Who was behind the Gaza hospital blast – a visual investigation. pic.twitter.com/FGQ9kG0Wni— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 19, 2023
Israel has alleged that the rocket, which it claims struck the hospital, originated from the southwest. However, two recent analyses published on Friday cast doubt on this narrative and instead suggest that the projectile that hit the hospital was fired from the direction of Israel.
One of the analyses, conducted by Forensic Architecture, a research group affiliated with the University of London, examined photographs of the impact crater at the scene. They observed that the radial fragmentation patterns on the southwest side of the crater, along with a shallow channel leading from the northeast, indicate that the projectile likely originated from the northeast. This direction aligns with the Israeli-controlled side of the Gaza perimeter.
The Israeli army has also released a video containing a conversation between purported Hamas officials discussing the misfired rocket believed to have caused the hospital explosion.
However, Earshot, a forensic sound analysis organization, discovered that the audio was recorded on separate channels and then edited together. This finding raises concerns about the credibility of the recording as a valid piece of evidence.
Human rights investigators have shared new information with Channel 4 News that they say casts doubt on some aspects of Israel’s account of the Gaza hospital explosion.@alextomo reports. pic.twitter.com/h9C02qMYLj— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 20, 2023
Channel 4 conducted its own analysis of the audio and expressed doubts regarding its credibility. They raised questions about the language and syntax used, as well as the accent and tone of voice in the recording.
During a press conference, a journalist raised the issue of credibility to Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari, referencing the army’s past track record. Hagari acknowledged previous shortcomings but asserted that the current situation was different.