US Intel: Israel ‘Did Not’ Bomb Gaza Hospital

(Reuters/Mohammed Al-Masri)
October 19, 2023

The U.S. director of national intelligence (DNI) informed Congress on Thursday that Israel is not responsible for the bombing of a Gaza Strip hospital earlier this week that drew international headlines when the Hamas terror group blamed the Jewish state.

"We judge that Israel was not responsible for an explosion that killed hundreds of civilians yesterday [17 October] at the Al Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip," the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told lawmakers in an unclassified briefing, an official summary of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "Our assessment is based on available reporting, including intelligence, missile activity, and open-source video and images of the incident."

The U.S. intelligence community’s assessment bolsters claims by President Joe Biden and the Israeli government blaming Palestinian terror factions for the bombing, which appears to have been a misfire at Israel.

The latest intelligence is certain to increase pressure on American and international media outlets that quickly blamed Israel for the strike, citing Palestinian officials and Hamas, who are known to lie about such attacks in order to generate anti-Israel fervor. Anti-Israel Democrats in Congress quickly picked up the false reports, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (R., Mich.) blaming Israel for the attack even after contradictory information became public.

The U.S. intelligence is "based on available reporting, including intelligence, missile activity, and open-source video and images of the incident," according to the information provided to Congress by the DNI.

Palestinian terror factions in the Gaza Strip additionally "assessed that the explosion was likely caused by an errant rocket or missile launch carried out by Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)," a U.S.-designated terror group that is attacking Israel along with Hamas, according to the intelligence assessment.

Reports of the hospital being completely destroyed also are inaccurate, according to the American intelligence community.

"We observed only light structural damage at the hospital," the DNI said. "There was no observable damage to the main hospital building and no impact craters. We see only light damage to the roofs of two structures near the main hospital building, but both structures remained intact."

Around 100 to 300 people were killed as a result of the attack, the intelligence shows.