US Intelligence Attributes Gaza Hospital Blast To Rocket Engine Failure
US Intelligence Explains Palestinian Rocket Failure Caused the Blast
In an update on the investigation into the explosion at a Gaza hospital last week, US intelligence officials have stated that they believe a Palestinian rocket, which suffered engine failure, was responsible for the blast. According to the officials, the rocket broke apart into two pieces, with the warhead striking the hospital's parking lot.
During a phone briefing with reporters, the officials expressed "high confidence" in their assessment that it was not Israel who fired the rocket. However, they were less certain about which Palestinian militants were responsible for the launch on the evening of October 17.
"We assess with high confidence that Israel was not responsible for the explosion at the hospital and that Palestinian militants were responsible," one of the intelligence officials said. "We assess with low confidence that Palestine Islamic Jihad was responsible for launching the rocket that landed on the hospital."
Previous indications from US officials had already pointed to Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as the likely culprits, and Israel had also blamed the militant group for the blast. PIJ shares Hamas' goal of destroying Israel, although it is smaller in size compared to Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.
The evidence leading to PIJ's involvement was reportedly based on intercepted conversations between suspected "Hamas affiliated militants" who were discussing the rocket launch. While the officials could not confirm the identities of those involved or the accuracy of the conversation, they stated that the audio had been vetted and deemed authentic.
The explosion at al-Ahli Hospital has sparked anger throughout the Arab world, with protesters taking to the streets to express their outrage. The incident has further heightened tensions in the region, already strained due to ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.
As investigations continue, the focus will be on identifying the specific individuals responsible for the rocket launch. The incident serves as a reminder of the volatile situation in Gaza and the ongoing challenges faced by US intelligence agencies in navigating the complexities of the conflict.