by Susan Katz Keating
While the White House on Wednesday said its analysis shows that Israel did not cause an explosion outside a Gaza hospital, local jihadists came to the same conclusion – but continue to use the errant missile strike as a rallying cry to set off protests around the world.
According to data compiled by Soldier of Fortune, some 43 anti-Israel protests are on tap worldwide at Western and Israeli embassies, businesses, and cultural sites.
Analyses by the United States, Israel, and Hamas show that the October 17 strike that hit outside a hospital in Gaza was caused by a missile that was fired by the Islamic Jihad.
The White House on Wednesday made its finding known.
“While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council.
President Biden gave a similar assessment while in Israel on Wednesday, saying the explosion appeared to be the responsibility of “the other team.”
Asked later about his remarks, Biden cited data from the Pentagon. In prepared remarks from Tel Aviv, Biden restated that Israel did not cause the strike.
“Based on the information we’ve seen to date, it appears the result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza,” Biden said.
Hamas appeared to be the first to discover that the missile came from inside Gaza.
In a wiretapped recording obtained by the Israel Defense Forces, two Hamas operatives realize that the strike came from their supporters.
“They shot it from inside the cemetery,” one Hamas operative says.
“What!?” says another.
Their conversation is presented and translated in the video, below.
“They understood, with absolute certainty, that it was a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad — that damaged the hospital,” according to IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.
The IDF did not launch attacks in the area when the missile landed, Hagari said. Additionally, Israeli radar systems tracked rockets fired by terrorists from within Gaza at the time of the explosion.
“The trajectory analysis from the barrage of rockets, confirms that the rockets were fired in close proximity to the hospital,” Hagari said.
The terror group quickly, however, cast blame on Israel.
Jihadists called for international protests against Israel and its supporters. So far, protests are set through Tuesday at locations including New York City; St. Paul, Minnesota; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; and in London, Paris, Ireland, and Canada.
Susan Katz Keating is publisher and editor in chief of Soldier of Fortune.