The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror organization was responsible for an explosion at the Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, due to a misfired rocket intended to kill Israeli civilians, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The explosion, which reportedly killed hundreds of people, sparked outrage, with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas pulling out of a meeting Wednesday with U.S. President Joe Biden over the issue. Biden has backed Israel’s war of self-defense against the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza and which killed over 1,400 Israelis in a massive terror attack on October 7.
Hamas and critics of Israel rushed to blame an Israeli airstrike. News wires, like the Getty photo service, published unproven claims Israel had “attack[ed]” the hospital, citing the “Gaza Health Ministry,” which is run by Hamas.
But Israel, noting that it does not target hospitals, said an errant Palestinian rocket was a likely cause, later confirming that analysis.
The IDF reported (translation follows):
מניתוח המערכות המבצעיות של צה״ל בוצע מטח רקטי של האויב לעבר ישראל, שעבר בסביבת בית החולים, בשעת הפגיעה בו.
על פי מידע מודיעיני, ממספר מקורות הקיים בידינו, ארגון הגא״פ אחראי לירי הכושל שפגע בבית החולים
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) October 17, 2023
From the analysis of the IDF’s operational systems, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed in the vicinity of the hospital, at the time of the hit. According to intelligence information, from a number of sources we have, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization is responsible for the failed shooting that hit the hospital.
As Breitbart News has noted, a significant portion of Palestinian casualties in previous conflicts in Gaza have been caused by misfired rockets launched by Palestinian terror groups — up to one-third of Palestinian casualties in a conflict last year.
Update: Other sources are weighing in:
#BREAKING: One minute before the Baptist Hospital in Gaza was hit, Hams announced on its own Telegram channel that they were launching their strongest rockets at the northern Israeli city of Haifa.
However, no interceptions or impacts were detected near Haifa. pic.twitter.com/rDihUomrHH
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) October 17, 2023
Breaking: IDF Spokesperson
From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit.
According to intelligence information, from several sources we have,…
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) October 17, 2023
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.