Israeli Analytic Blames Palestinian for Misfired Rocket – Deadly Gaza Hospital Blast | SPUTNIK

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Avi Melamed’s insights were quoted in this article “Israeli Analytic Blames Palestinian for Misfired Rocket – Deadly Gaza Hospital Blast” by Svetlana Ekimenko for Sputnik.

This was a missile that was launched from a cemetery located close to the hospital… And Islamic Jihad was launching a long-range missile from that cemetery. And because it’s a long-range missile, it has two phases: one is the launching. Then at some point, the engine has to kick in and to ignite. It’s not clear whether there was a technical malfunction of the engine, or maybe it’s an outcome of an Israeli interception [by the Israeli Iron Dome]. But the bottom line was that this missile disintegrated shortly after it was launched. And then what happened was that the warhead of the missile fell straight on the area of the hospital and caused this huge blast. So it wasn’t an attack,” insisted the commentator, educator, lecturer, and author of the book Inside The Middle East.

The new spiral of violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict resulted in a deadly attack on the Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Locals were seeking shelter there from Israeli airstrikes in the aftermath of the large-scale rocket attack against Israel by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7.

The long range missile that fell on a hospital in Gaza triggering a deadly blast that killed at least 500 people was supposed to fall in Tel Aviv or in Jerusalem, as it was likely launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, Avi Melamed, Middle East intelligence analyst, told Sputnik.

Amid the outrage caused across the globe by the deadly blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza Strip on October 17, the Israeli and Palestinian authorities have blamed each other for the incident. Islamic Jihad earlier issued a statement dismissing claims of its responsibility for the attack.

On Tuesday, a missile hit the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, causing a massive blast in which more than 500 people were killed, according to the Health Ministry of Gaza. Hamas blamed the explosion on an Israeli strike, a narrative that was rejected by the Israel Defense Forces, which said the hospital had been hit by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.

The Israel Defense Forces “published very clear evidence” that the catastrophe that happened was caused because a missile launched by the Islamic Jihad group “basically disintegrated, with the warhead of the missile falling on the hospital and causing the blast,” Avi Melamed said.

This was a missile that was launched from a cemetery located close to the hospital… And Islamic Jihad was launching a long-range missile from that cemetery. And because it’s a long-range missile, it has two phases: one is the launching. Then at some point, the engine has to kick in and to ignite. It’s not clear whether there was a technical malfunction of the engine, or maybe it’s an outcome of an Israeli interception [by the Israeli Iron Dome]. But the bottom line was that this missile disintegrated shortly after it was launched. And then what happened was that the warhead of the missile fell straight on the area of the hospital and caused this huge blast. So it wasn’t an attack,” insisted the commentator, educator, lecturer, and author of the book Inside The Middle East.

Furthermore, there are three major reasons why it’s very significant for Israel to prove that it is not responsible for what happened, emphasized the Middle East intelligence analyst. From the international perspective, the attack launched out by Hamas on October 7 has “provided Israel with the legitimacy, in the eyes of the international community, to really move and act very decisively,” Avi Melamed pointed out.

On October 7, the Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and seizing people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than two million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. Thousands of dead and injured have been reported on both sides as a result of the escalation.

Large-scale pro-Palestinian protests have been taking place internationally, and throughout the Arab world. Emphasizing the massive international reaction to the horrific Gaza hospital blast, with people storming the streets in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Turkiye, Israel has found itself in a “very challenging” situation, said the analyst. But Israel has provided “visual evidence” and “audio evidence” that it is not responsible for the catastrophe, he claimed.

“…And basically by doing that, Israel is basically keeping the legitimacy for… an Israeli upcoming military massive ground operation to take down Hamas,” Avi Melamed stated. By offering evidence in a bid to refute blame for the fatal Gaza hospital blast, Israel is hoping for a de-escalation of the widespread anger in the Arab world, he added.

The Israel Defense Forces have since released footage that they claim proves that the deadly explosion at the Gaza hospital was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

The Israeli military insisted that if its ordnance had been used, it would have left behind a crater.

“There is no direct outside hit.There is damage in the parking lot, maybe other things, but it is not from a direct [hit] from the outside,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters. Furthermore, the spokesperson argued that the IDF had intercepted what was described as audio proof of “terrorists talking about rockets misfiring.”

US President Joe Biden, who made a brief visit to Israel on Wednesday, also claimed that he doesn’t believe Israel was involved in the Tuesday tragedy.

Based on what I have seen, it was done by the other team, not you. But there’s a lot of people out there who are not sure. So we’ve got to overcome a lot of things,” Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Avi Melamed’s insights were quoted in this article “Israeli Analytic Blames Palestinian for Misfired Rocket – Deadly Gaza Hospital Blast” by Svetlana Ekimenko for Sputnik.


‘Horrendous Massacre’

Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian militant group Hamas are blacklisted by Israel as terrorist organizations. In a Wednesday statement published in media reports, Islamic Jihad rejected Israeli allegations and attempts to point the finger of blame at it as groundless, accusing Tel Aviv of “trying hard to evade responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed.” The movement said it “does not use places of worship or public facilities, especially hospitals, as military centers or weapons stores.”

As heart-wrenching scenes from the fatal explosion at the Gaza hospital flooded mass media and the front pages of media outlets, Palestinian Civil Defense spokesman Mahmoud Basal called it “Israel’s deadliest airstrike” since 2008. He was echoed by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, which condemned the hospital attack as a “horrendous massacre” and a “crime against humanity.” The ministry urged the international community to intervene so as to make Israel “end its destructive war in the Gaza Strip and stop ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”

Russian military experts also told Sputnik that a video of the Gaza hospital being rocked by the blast supported Palestine’s stance that the Israeli Air Force had launched an airstrike on the facility. According to them, a US-made GBU [Guided Bomb Unit]-31JDAM [Joint Direct Attack Munition] bomb could have been mistakenly dropped from an Israeli warplane. Furthermore, a US news network cited a deputy health minister in the Gaza Strip as claiming that the IDF had conducted an airstrike on the Gaza hospital a few days before the fatal blast, and purportedly notified its head that the shelling was a warning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Gaza hospital blast a tragedy and a humanitarian catastrophe.

“As regards the hospital [attack], the tragedy that happened there is horrific. Hundreds of dead and injured are, of course, a catastrophe. [It happened] in one place, a place of humanitarian nature. That’s why I expect this to be a signal that the conflict should be ended as soon as possible. Anyway, it is necessary to initiate some contacts and talks,” Putin told reporters after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Wednesday.

Referring to the Gaza hospital blast, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, for her part, told Sputnik that Israel must provide satellite images to prove that its military was not involved in the Gaza hospital attack.

Avi Melamed’s insights were quoted in this article “Israeli Analytic Blames Palestinian for Misfired Rocket – Deadly Gaza Hospital Blast” by Svetlana Ekimenko for Sputnik.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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