Rocket failure: U.S. Intel excludes Israeli involvement in Gaza hospital blast

25.10.2023 posted by Admin

Unveiling Gaza's hospital explosion. Intel insights

U.S. intelligence officials revealed on Tuesday that they used various methods such as intercepting signals, multiple video sources, photos, and geolocation technologies to strongly believe that Israeli munitions were not responsible for the destructive explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli hospital last week. They provided new details about this incident that has heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Instead, they suggest that the explosion was likely caused by a rocket launched by Palestinian militants. This rocket suffered a "catastrophic motor failure," causing it to split off and propel its warhead into the hospital compound.

Analysts, based on intercepted signals, have a lower level of confidence in their assessment that the Palestine Islamic Jihad extremist group was responsible for the launch. The officials who described this analysis chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information.

These intercepts involved Hamas militants speculating about who might have launched the rocket. An American intelligence official explained, "We can't confirm who they are, and we can't confirm that what they are discussing in the intercept actually took place."

Officials provided two main reasons for their conclusion that Israeli forces were not responsible for the October 17th explosion. First, the damage to the hospital's structure was consistent with a rocket, not air-dropped munitions or artillery rounds. Secondly, multiple flight videos showed the rocket launching from within Gaza and traveling northeast. The rocket's plume displayed "fluctuating intensity," indicating an unstable motor combustion, which led to the warhead landing in the hospital compound.

The initial U.S. assessment suggested 100 to 300 casualties, a count lower than what Hamas claimed. One official stated, "It's very hard to get a good sense for what went on, especially with the fog of war."

The officials mentioned that the failure rate for locally produced rockets in Gaza was relatively high, fitting a longstanding pattern in rocket performance. They also emphasized that there was no evidence to suggest that the hospital was an intended target of the militants.

Additionally, intelligence analysts reviewed open-source images and videos to investigate if any debris was from Israeli munitions, as Palestinian forces claimed. However, they found no supporting evidence for this claim. They ruled out the possibility that an Iron Dome interceptor caused the rocket's breakup, stating that the analyzed video shows a rocket launching from Gaza, suffering a catastrophic failure, and landing back in Gaza without interception.

The officials acknowledged that their assessment could change if new information emerges. They also mentioned that their independent insight into extremist activities in Gaza was limited and relied increasingly on Israeli partners to share information about the situation.
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