Rashida Tlaib Defends Hamas's Hospital Blast Narrative, Suggests US and Israeli Conspiracy

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Getty Images)
October 24, 2023

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Monday refused to discount Hamas's discredited claim that Israel bombed Gaza's Al-Ahli hospital, implying Israel and the United States could be lying about evidence showing the blast was caused by a Palestinian rocket.

"I cannot uncritically accept Israel’s denials of responsibility as fact," Tlaib said in a statement, "especially in light of confirmation from the World Health Organization that Israel has bombed numerous medical facilities in Gaza and reports from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of ongoing threats from the Israeli military to evacuate hospitals."

She added that journalists and analysts have cast doubt on parts of Israel's claims, linking to a report from a British news outlet citing some investigative organizations that have doubted Israel's claim that the blast was caused by a misfired rocket from Islamic Jihad and the veracity of a purported recording of two Hamas operatives that Israel released. One of those organizations, the University of London's Forensic Architecture, concluded its analysis on X with a reaffirmation of  "our solidarity with Palestinian people under attack."

Tlaib in her statement echoed the United Nations' calls for an "independent investigation" into the blast. In her statement she also cast doubt on the United States' concurrence with the Israeli assessment that the rocket originated from Gaza, suggesting both Israel and the United States could be lying about the blast.

"Both the Israeli and United States governments," Tlaib's statement reads, "have long, documented histories of misleading the public about wars and war crimes—like last year’s Israeli military assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh and the false claims of weapons of mass destruction that led our country into the Iraq War—and cannot clear themselves of responsibility without an independent international investigation."

"This debate should not distract us from the urgent need for a ceasefire to save innocent civilian lives," Tlaib concluded.

Tlaib was one of several members of Congress, along with media outlets, who initially accepted Hamas's claim that Israel was responsible for the explosion as fact.

Hours after the blast first occurred on Oct. 17, Tlaib took to X to repeat the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry's disputed claim that Israel killed close to 500 Palestinians in a strike on the hospital. U.S. intelligence has disputed that casualty report, putting the total dead at between 100 and 300, lower than Hamas's total of 471.

Fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) in the hours after the explosion also cited a report from the Associated Press that repeated Hamas's claims on X, but she walked that post back the next day.

Published under: Hamas , Rashida Tlaib