Israeli warplanes hit the Baptist Hospital (Al-Ahli) in the center of Gaza City on Tuesday, October 17, resulting in a massacre that claimed the lives of at least more than 500 Palestinian civilians and hundreds of wounded.
The hospital, at the moment of the bombing, sheltered hundreds of internally displaced people within the Gaza Strip who sought refuge there, thinking it was safer than their homes, which had been under Israeli army bombardment since October 7. The massacre was followed by condemning reactions.
Israel accuses the Islamic Jihad of committing the Baptist Hospital Massacre
Following the massacre, the Israeli army denied responsibility for the attack, stating that military intelligence indicates that the hospital "was subjected to a failed missile attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip."
The spokesperson for the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, said on his social media account, "After analyzing the operational systems in the Israel Defense Forces, the enemy in Gaza launched a heavy rocket salvo towards Israel, passing in the vicinity of the Baptist Hospital the moment it was hit," accusing the Islamic Jihad movement of launching the rocket.
Islamic Jihad Denies Israeli Claims about the Baptist Hospital Massacre
After Israel accused the movement of launching a failed rocket, an official spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad denied Israeli allegations and the occupation's accusations of striking the Baptist Hospital in Gaza.
Dawood Shahab, the spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad, stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that the Baptist Hospital massacre is a complete and brutal crime, affirming that it is an Israeli crime.
In response to Israeli accusations against the resistance factions for committing the massacre, Shahab said it is a false claim because "Israel, after this crime, felt that there was a global crisis and an uprising against these aggressive and brutal policies they are committing," and he emphasized that "Israel once again turns to lying for media manipulation and international misinformation, which it practices to continue its crimes."
Scenes showing the Difference Between Resistance Rockets and Israeli Rockets
Social media platforms were flooded with posts accusing Israel of committing the massacre and attempting to refute its claim that it is not responsible for the killing of 500 Palestinian civilians in the Baptist Hospital.
To reveal some facts, users shared a video clip featuring three different missile strikes. The first scene shows the sound of a rocket launched by the resistance at Ashkelon. The second scene, from an old video, shows the sound of the American JDAM bomb supplied to Israel by the United States, which is similar to the sound of the rocket that hit the Baptist Hospital, as seen in the third scene.
Israel Uses JDAM Bombs in Its War on Gaza
Media reports have revealed that smart JDAM bombs play a major role in the war on Gaza, with Israel using them extensively during its intense airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. These bombs have caused widespread destruction and are among the high-impact direct attack munitions provided by the United States to support Israel.
Israel has previously used these missiles to strike targets in Gaza from the air, as was the case during the May 2021 assault on Gaza. It is worth mentioning that after Operation Guardian of the Walls, Israel requested more American weapons and aid, including additional JDAM missiles and short-range missile interceptors required for the Iron Dome air defense system.
JDAM missiles were jointly developed by the U.S. Air Force and Navy, in response to the challenges faced during the air campaign of the Gulf War in the 1990s, which were caused by weather changes, dust, and smoke. The JDAM kit addresses these issues, ensuring that the munition hits its target by using the Global Positioning System (GPS).
Expert Analyzes the Nature of the Bomb Used by Israel in the Baptist Hospital Bombing
Said Ersoy Berkitlioglu, the director of Troy Technology Defense, a company specializing in military-grade munitions and missiles, examined the images of the Baptist hospital bombing and the sound of the bomb used in the attack.
Berkitlioglu explained in statements to Anadolu Agency that the signs of the munition's impact on the hospital, the sound of the explosion, and its intensity suggest that it might be a "MK-84 2000-pound bomb equipped with JDAM, not a missile."
He mentioned that with this equipment, the munition in question has been turned into precision-guided ordnance, containing approximately 430 kilograms of explosives. Berkitlioglu said that this munition could be highly destructive if it reaches its target at the correct angle. He also pointed out that this type of MK-84 bomb, containing HMX, has penetration capabilities and can easily destroy buildings.
Berkitlioglu revealed that another possibility is that it could be a bunker-busting bomb, such as the BLU-109, which also uses MK-84. He confirmed that both types of bombs are in the Israeli military's inventory.
Gaza's Ministry of Health Confirms The Baptist Hospital Was Threatened Prior to the Bombing
The horrifying footage of the Al-Ahli Hospital being struck showed fires breaking out in the building, with the hospital's floors filled with bodies, mostly children and women.
Many Palestinians sought refuge in Al-Ahli hospital and other hospitals in Gaza City in recent days, hoping to avoid the airstrikes, as Israel had threatened all the city's residents, urging them to evacuate to the south of the Gaza Strip.
To illustrate the occupiers' intention to prepare for the hospital's bombing, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza stated that, like other hospitals, the Baptist Hospital had been threatened, and it had "been targeted two days before the heavy shelling as an initial message."
The Ministry explained that "the Israeli occupation carried out its threat by committing a massacre inside the hospital, resulting in hundreds of victims," emphasizing that "in the face of the horror of the massacre and the painful scenes witnessed by the world, with hundreds of victims, including children, women, and the elderly, the occupier cannot absolve itself of its crime."
Misleading Israeli Claims About Hamas' Responsibility for the Baptist Hospital Massacre
After the announcement of the hospital bombing, Israeli activists and officials rushed to promote misleading narratives. Israeli activist Edy Cohen posted a claim on his X account, stating that the explosion targeting the Baptist Hospital in the middle of the Gaza Strip was caused by a failed rocket that Hamas attempted to launch towards Israel. Cohen shared a video clip that he said is "conclusive evidence" of his claim.
Misbar investigated the claim and found that the clip was taken from the "Around the World" channel on the Telegram platform, which the channel had published at 8:36 PM yesterday, accompanied by the comment "Documenting the rocket falling on the hospital in Gaza."
Cohen then used it after its publication, providing a different description and falsely claiming that the rocket belonged to the Hamas movement. The channel followed the video clip with another showing the moment the rocket fell, as documented by a Palestinian from inside the Gaza Strip.
Also, Israeli accounts shared another video clip, claiming it was a rocket belonging to the Hamas movement that failed to reach its target and fell in the Gaza Strip, causing the Baptist Hospital massacre. An investigation conducted by Misbar concluded that this was misleading because it was an old clip and not related to the rocket that fell on the Baptist Hospital in Gaza. The video was actually published in August 2022, depicting rockets launched by the Islamic Jihad movement at areas inside the occupied territories.
Ismail Haniyeh Accused Israel and the United States of Committing the Baptist Hospital Massacre
In a televised speech following the incident, he stated, "The Israeli bombing is a massacre that confirms the brutality of this enemy and the massive defeat it suffered in the face of the resistance."
He added, "This massacre is added to the series of massacres committed by the Zionists since the occupation of Palestine. This is their nature, and these are their characteristics: to commit massacres."
Haniyeh also held the United States responsible for the hospital's bombing, saying, "This massacre is the responsibility of this enemy, which struck a hospital, a mosque, and a church in the same place. It is also the responsibility of the Americans who have provided unlimited cover for this enemy to commit these massacres."