Question: Does it matter who actually fired the rocket that killed hundreds at the al Ahli Hospital in Gaza?
Answer: Yes it matters because if it can be established that it was Israel, this would massively affect public opinion in the US, which is the most important supporter of Israel.
So far, the news tends to support Israel’s claim that it was an errant rocket fired by Islamic Jihad, but a deeper analysis casts serious doubt on that. A Channel 4 (British TV) forensic analysis of both the doppler sound effect and of the crater itself seems to indicate that the rocket was fired from the north-east, meaning from the direction of Israeli forces.
Shortly after the hospital parking lot was bombed, Israel produced an audio recording that it claims was a conversation between two members of Hamas in which they say Islamic Jihad fired the rocket. Channel 4 showed that that recording was heavily edited/stitched together. Furthermore, other Palestinians say that those two speakers didn’t even talk with a Gazan accent. So, it seems most likely that that recording was faked. Not only that, but it seems like it was prepared in advance.
Here’s another scenario:
As we have pointed out before, Al Jazeera has reported that the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) “pointed out that there had actually been over 51 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza since the start of the conflict on October 7. They wrote, “The Israeli military itself had issued evacuation orders last week from 22 hospitals treating more than 2,000 patients in the Gaza Strip… A senior health official in Gaza told Al Jazeeera that Israel had fired two artillery shells as a ‘warning’ at al-Ahli Arab Hospital days before the explosion.”
So, Israel was trying to force evacuation of the hospital. They must have known that hitting the hospital with a shell like what they use to destroy residential buildings would cause an international scandal, including in the United States. So, under this scenario, maybe they fired a rocket without a major explosive head and aimed at the parking lot, figuring it would not cause major damage. This would have been a stepped up warning to try to force evacuation of the hospital, something we know they had been trying to accomplish. But they miscalculated the effect of the resulting fireball.
We can’t be sure, but based on the forensic evidence produced by Channel 4, that seems one possible scenario.