Was the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza hit by an Israeli airstrike or PIJ rocket?

Psychic

Senior Member
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-says-islamic-jihad-rocket-misfire-caused-gaza-hospital-blast/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/18/what-do-we-know-about-the-strike-on-the-hospital-in-gaza

An explosion killed hundreds of Gazans at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17th. Palestinians allege it was an airstrike. The IDF claims it was an errant rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The IDF posted these videos of the blast:


Source: https://twitter.com/IDF/status/1714403025136017784


Source: https://twitter.com/IDF/status/1714442617201586220


And this analysis:


Source: https://twitter.com/IDF/status/1714513625598021868

I don't know what to make of these videos. Some of you have a lot of experience analyzing UFO footage and I hope you can bring that expertise to bear here.
 
The aftermath:

Screenshot 2023-10-18 at 1.42.35 AM.png
 
Video of the suspected explosion seems to fit the skyline for the Hospital Area.

Note the angled solar panels. I assume the angled solar panels are pretty common in the area, but the similarity with the skyline, trees makes me think the video shows the same event.


1697614998320.png

Right hand image has been flipped horizontally to give the same viewing angle as the video.)
Left hand image source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...-hospital-Palestine-video-rocket-misfire.html
 

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Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters rockets fired by the PIJ passed by the hospital at the time of the strike, which he said hit the facility’s parking lot.

Hagari claimed there was no direct hit on the facility and said military drone footage showed “a kind of hit in the parking lot”.

He said the military did have an Israeli Air Force operation in the area around the time of the hospital blast “but it was with a different kind of ammunition that does not … fit the footage that we have [of] the hospital.”

I don't understand how 500 people could be killed in a parking lot explosion.

It feels like Palestine is exaggerating the death toll, or that there was another bomb that Israel isn't telling us about.

In general, current events in a war are foggy, because much of the information is unreliable or incomplete. These are conditions that give rise to bunk, because the facts needed to debunk it have not yet come forth.

I'm also suspicious of the "no crater" argument, if the ammunition is set to explode in the air (or disperse), it wouldn't leave much of a crater.

It's possible that this was an anti-air missile miss, as we've seen in Ukraine.
 
... massive blast ...

... Video that The Associated Press confirmed was from the hospital showed fire engulfing the building ...

[...]

Since the war began, the military said in a statement that roughly 450 rockets fired at Israel by militant groups had landed in Gaza, “endangering and harming the lives of Gazan residents.”

Islamic Jihad dismissed those claims, accusing Israel of “trying hard to evade responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed.”

The group pointed to Israel’s order that Al-Ahli be evacuated and its previous bombing of the hospital complex as proof that the hospital was an Israeli target. It also said the scale of the explosion, the angle of the bomb’s fall and the extent of the destruction all pointed to Israel.
 
On Wednesday, an Israeli military spokesperson told journalists that there was no structural damage to buildings around the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital and no craters consistent with an air strike. The spokesperson accused Hamas of inflating the number of casualties from the explosion and said it could not know as quickly as it claimed what caused the blast.

Asked to explain the size of the explosion at the site, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said it was consistent with unspent rocket fuel catching fire. "Most of this damage would have been done due to the propellant, not just the warhead," the Israeli spokesperson said.

The article also notes that Israel's blockade of Gaza leaves hospitals without supplies, and soon without fuel for their electrical generators. This lack will kill many more.
 
WHO confirms the hospital was under evacuation orders.

WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip. The hospital was operational, with patients, health and care givers, and internally displaced people sheltering there. Early reports indicate hundreds of fatalities and injuries.

The hospital was one of 20 in the north of the Gaza Strip facing evacuation orders from the Israeli military. The order for evacuation has been impossible to carry out given the current insecurity, critical condition of many patients, and lack of ambulances, staff, health system bed capacity, and alternative shelter for those displaced.

WHO calls for the immediate active protection of civilians and health care. Evacuation orders must be reversed. International humanitarian law must be abided by, which means health care must be actively protected and never targeted.
 
A grain of salt ... the video of the misfire is shown by the Israelis, who naturally have their own interests in mind in the propaganda war. (The appearance is of a rocket going the other direction before disintegrating, but it is unclear whether any portions remained capable of reversing direction and causing that kind of destruction.) From the news I have read, Hamas does not seem to have weaponry capable of major destruction, but Israel does.

A possible scenario might be that the hospital contained or was adjacent to a major repository of fuel which might explode with a relatively minor strike. We may never know; an old saying is that the first casualty of war is the truth.
 
I have some very basic doubts here.

As far as I understand, the missile explodes in air and then hits 2 points, is this correct?

Missile explodes at 10.355sec. First hit at 15.955sec and second hit at 17.635sec.

I guess second hit is the hospital. Is this correct?

First, is it expected a missile exploding in air keeps such explosive power when hitting the ground? More so when speaking about 2 fragments from a missile. I wouldn't expect a grenade exploded in air to explode again when reaching the ground as it already consumed its explosive power.

Another point is that there's a 1.68sec gap between two explosions on ground, not easy to explain if one assumes both came from same exploded missile. Perhaps due to trajectory of each fragment, but even if so a huge gap.

Or are both explosions on ground unconnected? Then what's the role of explosion in air there? Or is hit 1 a missile shot and hit 2 it reaching the hospital? Then, again, what's the relevance of an explosion in air?

Sorry, I have no images from video to show at this time, but timings can be checked.
 
The timing itself is not conclusive.
If we're looking at "Palestinian shoots MANPAD at Israeli bombing plane", that could well coincide, and I assume anti-air rockets are meant to self-destruct when they miss?

More evidence is needed. But nobody in Gaza is going to sift a pile of debris for ammunition fragments today.
 
October 18, 2023 8:30 AM EDT <New York time


Biden, in Israel, says hospital blast appears to be caused by 'the other team'​

By Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Steve Holland
October 18, 2023 8:30 AM EDT Updated an hour ago


'COOL HEADS'
After Biden's remarks that Israel was not to blame, other Western leaders also called for caution.

"Last night, too many jumped to conclusions around the tragic loss of life at Al Ahli hospital," Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly posted on X. "Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk. Wait for the facts, report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail."

World leaders from U.N. Secretary General Guterres to Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the blast in statements that nonetheless avoided addressing who was to blame.
 
Apart from that all, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari claims there was only a fire on parking lot and no structural damage to any buildings.

This is in accord with pic from #2 and makes it implausible that "An explosion killed hundreds of Gazans at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17th".

Looks like misinformation at large is the first problem here.
 
'COOL HEADS'
After Biden's remarks that Israel was not to blame,

NOTE: technically he said "it appears", but Biden isnt exactly an expert in video bomb analysis.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said: "I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you."



note 2: we dont know what BIden "has seen".

[deleted twitter vide0s of side angles, as truthfully we cant trust twitter posts.]
 
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I don't understand how 500 people could be killed in a parking lot explosion.

It feels like Palestine is exaggerating the death toll, or that there was another bomb that Israel isn't telling us about.
I suspect that, initially, Palestine thought it was an Israeli bomb and so did what they do and vastly exaggerated the damage and death toll. And now that it appears it was a failed Hamas rocket/missile they feel they can’t walk back their claims.
 
Despite all reservations above, here goes fresh footage from Israel TV taken by a N12 camera from Netivot (Israel).

Source:

Daily Mail

Hospital explosion is at 6.739sec (+/-0.040). Explosion in ar isn't expected to be seen, as it happened 7.3sec before hospital explosion and footage starts after that.

I couldn't find "first hit", which should be around 5.059sec.


 
Apart from that all, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari claims there was only a fire on parking lot and no structural damage to any buildings.

This is in accord with pic from #2 and makes it implausible that "An explosion killed hundreds of Gazans at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17th".

Looks like misinformation at large is the first problem here.
Yes.

Ghassan Abu Sitta, a plastic surgeon working at al-Alhi, said the hospital was filled with internally displaced people seeking shelter from Israeli air strikes when he heard a loud explosion and the ceiling of his operating room collapsed.

“The wounded started stumbling towards us,” he wrote in an account posted to Facebook. He saw hundreds of dead and severely wounded people. “I put a tourniquet on the thigh of a man who had his leg blown off and then went to tend to a man with a penetrating neck injury,” he said.

000_33yj8tm-webp.63558

People gather around bodies of Palestinians killed in the strike on al-Ahli hospital in central Gaza after they were transported to al-Shifa hospital on October 17, 2023. © Dadwood Nemer, AFP

Ambulances and private cars rushed some 350 casualties to Gaza City’s main hospital, al-Shifa, which was already overwhelmed with wounded from other strikes, said its director, Mohammed Abu Selmia. Doctors in the overwhelmed hospital resorted to performing surgery on the floor and in the halls, mostly without anesthesia.

I don't know if there were 250, 300 or 500 people killed, but it seems there was indeed widespread carnage.

And the pictures Israel's military is showing us don't explain that.
 

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They only offer a picture of a parking lot with cars burnt. No buildings damage. Not even signs flames touched them. So, evacuation could only be explained by panic. Yet, such fire doesn't seem to be compatible with the explosion on videos. Nevitov is 15Km (9 miles) far from the hospital. Also, the hospital must be overcrowded at the time of explosion.

Picture release by France 24 (post above) taken a day after explosion doesn't show any signs of an explosion. Not even broken glass...

Anyway, it would be too risky for IDF to release pictures if they weren't genuine. They weren't challenged as far as I know.

1697654712126.png


"An entrance to al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City, a day after hundreds of people were reportedly killed in a blast on October 17, 2023. © Reuters stringer"
 
Bellingcat was able to identify what appears to be the impact crater, after analysing footage and images of the aftermath. We believe this crater to be an important piece of information about the attack, what follows is preliminary analysis of the crater.

The ground surrounding one side of the crater shows a cone of scarring and pitting, consistent with the explosion of a munition at this site. Objects within this cone appear to have suffered extensive damage, including a fence which was largely destroyed by the explosion.

As noted by Marc Garlasco, a Military Advisor at PAX for Peace’s Protection of Civilians team, the impact point does not appear to be consistent with the 500, 1000 or 2000-pound bombs used in Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs).

We created a panorama showing the impact crater, based on the video above which helps show the affected area.
unnamed-2-1200x426.png



It seems there was a makeshift campsite on the lawn adjacent to the car park, packed with refugees.
 
...snip...

Picture release by France 24 (post above) taken a day after explosion doesn't show any signs of an explosion. Not even broken glass...

... snip ...

View attachment 63559

... snip...

Look closer at the building on the right.

The side facing the hospital is mostly windows, and they are clearly broken in the photo.

Look through the archway to the rear of the building.
 
According to this video, it could have a JDAM attached to a thermobaric bomb. Considering that the JDAM is a kit that can be attached of different kinds of bombs and that there are reports of Israel using such bombs.. then yeah, it's possible.

 
Just stuff I've picked up from other sources, and some common sense.

The scene is not consistent with more than 400 dead. It would take days to clean up that kind of slaughter pen, even in peace time. But the morning after the scene is pristine? Not credible.

-Not a JDAM. The lightest bomb a JDAM kit would be attached to would be a 500 pounder. The cars are burned out but there's no way a 500 pound bomb caused this. Damage much too light. The buildings facing the courtyard have only light damage.

BBC
-Some have suggested that the lack of a large crater could be explained by the use of an "air burst" munition - a weapon set to explode above the ground. But the experts we spoke to said the blast scene was not consistent with this.

-It was likely a primitive artillery rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), not Hamas.

The engine overheated and failed leaving unburned fuel inside the rocket body. The small warhead exploded and perhaps turned one car over. I think most of the visible damage was caused by simple car fires. The burning rocket fuel acted as the accelerant that set the fires. Much more potential energy in the cars themselves than in the small amount of rocket fuel.


Note: Standing palm trees, unbroken globe type street lamps, intact walls unmarked by shrapnel, cars sitting neatly in parking stalls. Not a large explosion and not a lot of fuel. If I ran across this photo with no background info... it just looks like car fires in a parking lot.
_131467465_crater1-nc.png
 
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Note: Standing palm trees, unbroken globe type street lamps, intact walls unmarked by shrapnel, cars sitting neatly in parking stalls. Not a large explosion and not a lot of fuel. If I ran across this photo with no background info... it just looks like car fires in a parking lot.
Well... exploding cars are nasty.
_131467465_crater1-nc.png


From this picture, realistically 300 or more people may have camped in the yard. Another picture showed cars with mattresses tied on top. If the yard was packed, it seemed inevitable that dozens of people died, and the photos I posted earlier seem to confirm as much. It seems possible that in the moment (fog of war!) the number of people in the courtyard got mixed up with the number of dead, or that the estimated number of casualties was taken for fatalities.

The image of the crater I posted earlier shows what looks like a freshly sawed-off tree stump. I don't think we can see shrapnel marks on the wall or on the trees at this resolution. The scene is not "pristine".
 
What are you arguing? That evidence of a large explosion, as in 500+ pound bomb, could be hidden by the resolution of the photo? That maybe if we had a higher resolution photo we would see tiny little marks on the walls? Not credible. It's not likely the walls would be standing at all. If they did remain standing there would be damage from over-pressure and shrapnel easily visible at this resolution.

The undamaged plastic or glass (?) globes on the streetlamps alone show there was no explosion of that size. Not even within the range of a warhead on a hellfire missile.

We see evidence of a small explosion, certainly. And we have to take into account the kinetic energy of the rocket body itself. For example, it may have skipped across the pavement and hit the overturned car.

The site is pristine as in: No sign of 400 plus human bodies, scattered human remains, human internal organs and blood splattered on vertical surfaces, large pools of blood on the road surface...

It's very unlikely that there were no fatalities. But there's no evidence of a large explosion within a large crowd. It would take days to clean up that kind of scene. After picking up all the bodies, pieces of bodies, splattered tissue, did they use pressure washers? All in a few hours?

If you're going to argue that the car fires themselves caused 400 plus fatalities... that's not credible either. Once again where is the evidence? No evidence of that we can see. There had to be some fatalities and many more wounded. But let's go in line with the history and capabilities of failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad artillery rockets.

PIJ_Rocket_Arsenal.jpg

MIDEAST_ISRAEL_PALESTINIANS_AKCF121-750x375.png
 

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Also from 2022

https://www.jewishpress.com/news/ey...firing-and-exploding-inside-strip/2022/08/07/

Many in the Gaza Strip have expressed anger following about 120 rockets fired by the Islamic Jihad terror organization at Israel which fell short in the Strip, some of them killing civilians.

In two separate incidents, on Saturday and Sunday, Islamic Jihad terrorists attempted to launch rockets at Israel from the area of the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

The first incident on Saturday ended with a rocket exploding near the Emad Akel Mosque, killing five residents, including four children and a 19-year-old man.

On Sunday, the Islamic Jihad failed in a launch, and a rocket that exploded in the camp, near the Tuba Mosque, resulted in the killing of two residents of the Jasser family.

On social media, residents expressed anger at the Islamic Jihad that chose to shoot from within population concentrations.

In several Telegram groups, residents were asked not to publish videos and not to comment on an event that is being used by the Israeli enemy as “propaganda”.

The IDF was quick to publish evidence showing that the Islamic Jihad was responsible for the deaths.

In one group, a resident named Anas Sharif, who published a video of one of the misfires, wrote that “one missile from the barrage fell in a populated neighborhood.” He was required to delete the publication. Faras Adnan, who saw the post, wrote “the publishing is not necessary”. Others also joined the demand to delete the incriminating video.


In one group, Ak Hakika (the truth), members mocked the Islamic Jihad.”If (you were successful in the launch) and the Islamic Jihad rocket had not fallen in Jabaliya, then there would have been children in Israel killed.” Another group wrote “Now you understand why Israel needs to destroy this terrorist organization? To protect the children of Gaza!”

In another group, it was written that “there was great anger in Jabaliya after it became clear that a missile fired at the Gaza Strip, (exploded) in the place where the Shahids died.”

Photographs of the Telegram groups were circulated on Twitter and the tweets read “we strongly condemn the rocket launch by the terrorist Jihad movement at the homes of the residents of Gaza,” saying that the Islamic Jihad did so on purpose “as revenge for their refusal to stand by (the organization’s) side.”

“The video here clearly shows an Iranian missile launched by the Jihad movement and failed and returned to the ground, and then the massacre in Jabaliya took place and the children were murdered,” the statement added.

The tweets read “This is not the first time” that rockets have been fired from population centers.

Israeli reporter Doron Kadosh counted six Gazans who were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets and five non-involved Gazans who were killed by mistake in Israeli strikes, meaning that “the Islamic Jihad has killed more uninvolved Palestinians than Israel.”

According to other counts, at least nine Gazans have been killed by rockets fired by the terror group.

TPS has previously exposed the Islamic Jihad’s attempts to hide the killing of Gazan residents as a result of their misfired rockets.
 
What are you arguing? That evidence of a large explosion, as in 500+ pound bomb, could be hidden by the resolution of the photo?
No.

I am arguing that "pristine" is the wrong word, and that there was more than "car fires". I also suggest that a tree was severely damaged by the explosion and has been cut off and removed.

By your standards, the Boston Marathon explosions were very small, yet they killed 3 and injured hundreds (wikipedia).
 
Hey guys! Glad I found this thread!

So I've been trying to work out the kinematics for the rocket. We've got roughly 7 seconds between the hospital explosion and the mid-air breakup or interception or small explosion that happens when the rocket is last visible. I'd really love to get some rough estimate for the height of that mid-air breakup. The original al jazeera video isn't that much help because i have no idea where the camera is and i dont have any reference points (i started a thread here before i saw this one https://www.metabunk.org/threads/wh...angle-subtended-in-a-video.13223/#post-303977). However, Al Jazeera recently released a little investigative segment (
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyNLvL_8SeY
) where they show footage from another camera just south of tel aviv that is much more helpful. In the first attached screenshot, the bright light in the sky is the rocket at the moment it breaks up. And I'm pretty sure I've found the buildings to the left on the screenshot (see attachment: Colony Beach Bat Yam Apartments in Hamerkaz). I can estimate the height of those buildings, and obviously I know where the hospital is, so if I could work out where the camera is, i'd be set, but i dont see any structures for it to be perched on. Possibly it's a drone? Although from the al jazeera segment, it seems like its just a live feed that is streaming video through the night which makes me think it must be fixed to something.

Anyway, one interesting thing is that even without that height, and just from the kinematics and the 7 seconds of free fall, we can say that if the warhead was traveling upward, as it appears to be, when it begins free fall, the final (y-component of the) velocity of the rocket cant be more than like 150 miles per hour. 150mph is the final v_y if it's falling from rest, and final v_y goes down from there as initial v_y increases in the up-direction. For me that's really hard to square with the sound made before the explosion on the ground (although i guess the horizontal component of the velocity could be larger). OTOH if that mid-air breakup somehow gives the warhead a downward initial velocity, then since time=7 is constant, the initial height has to increase and you get a bigger final velocity. So to rule that out I'd need the height.
 

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It seems there was a makeshift campsite on the lawn adjacent to the car park, packed with refugees.
I have seen it suggested somewhere (BBC?) that refugees crowded into the area round the hospital because they thought it would be relatively safe from Israeli attack, being a hospital (and Christian-run). Of course that would not give it protection against stray or malfunctioning missiles from either side. I don't see any impossibility in several hundred people being crammed into the site, but the ratio of killed to injured would have to be unusually high for hundreds to be killed. For comparison, the July 2005 terrorist bombings in London, with bombs detonated in crowded and confined spaces (3 underground trains and one double-decker bus) killed 52 people and injured over 700.
 
From this picture, realistically 300 or more people may have camped in the yard. Another picture showed cars with mattresses tied on top. If the yard was packed, it seemed inevitable that dozens of people died, and the photos I posted earlier seem to confirm as much. It seems possible that in the moment (fog of war!) the number of people in the courtyard got mixed up with the number of dead, or that the estimated number of casualties was taken for fatalities.
 
and the photos I posted earlier seem to confirm as much
well they had dead there from previous days..jut saying. but our (U>S) intelligence said last night "the low end of 100-300 dead" is their current best estimate.

not that we can believe the NYTImes of cnn anymore for war coverage (after their initial wrong reporting), but it was also on FOx News.
1697813519690.png
 
The fire.
The caption says "hospital is seen burning after an air strike". What I can see are cars burning in the parking lot, the buildings are not on fire. There might have been casualities inside the building from the blast, but not from fire.
 
The caption says "hospital is seen burning after an air strike". What I can see are cars burning in the parking lot, the buildings are not on fire. There might have been casualities inside the building from the blast, but not from fire.
The first thing in the video seems to be a burst of water.

It is quite possible that fires inside the buildings had been extinguished before this video was shot. But I've also not seen images that show fire damage inside. Let's not jump to conclusions.
 
If there were fatalities withing the buildings, I'd imagine it would be through smoke inhalation. But that's just a scenario with no evidence so far.
 
The IDF posted these videos of the blast:

There are actually two explosions on the ground. There's a smaller one visible a short distance from the hospital before the larger blast.

There is to me a real issue of timing.

We don't know how high the rockets got....but we can state the following simply from the laws of gravity...

1st ground explosion is 5 seconds after rocket misfire in the air. In 5 seconds an object at rest will fall 400 feet. However the rockets were not at rest but were travelling upwards and you'd expect some continued momentum and thus a LONGER time to fall. The second ground explosion is 6 seconds after rocket misfire, and in 6 seconds an object at rest will fall 577 feet. Bear these figures in mind !.......

Haaretz states that it is public knowledge that the Qassam missile travels at 200 meters ( 656 feet ) per second.

Now a simple bit of 'do the maths' raises a problem. The rocket is already in the air and at height at the start of the video...and then carries on for another 11 seconds. And after more than 11 seconds of flight this 656 feet per second rocket which was going up at quite a high angle was at just 577 feet ??? It would have HAD to have been at 577 feet or less to fall and hit the ground in 6 seconds. Yet how can something that is travelling at quite an upward angle at 656 feet per second be at just 577 feet in height after more than 11 seconds ?

I'd emphasise that this has nothing to do with taking any side.....but that the maths does not add up.

The other possibility is that the rocket seen exploding in the air is not the one that hit the hospital. Or, that the rocket was travelling really slowly....but then we get the problem of whether a rocket travelling at just 60 feet per second, for example, would even have been able to rise at all against gravity on a ballistic trajectory.
 
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