Footage used by West Jerusalem to deny responsibility for a deadly strike is irrelevant, the outlet’s visual investigations unit has claimed
One of the key pieces of evidence Israel has used to prove it had nothing to do with the deadly Gaza hospital bombing last week might be irrelevant to that whole case, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Tuesday, citing an extensive analysis conducted by its visual investigations team.
The footage initially taken by Al Jazeera was shared by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in the aftermath of the deadly strike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hosipital last Tuesday and was a central part of the Jewish state’s denials in the immediate aftermath of the bombing.
The clip shows a projectile flying above Gaza and exploding mid-air, with its parts falling to the ground below. Another blast – this time on the ground – follows.
West Jerusalem claimed that the video shows a malfunctioning rocket launched by the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad group. It was supposedly this projectile that caused the deadly explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital.
The high-profile incident saw a major blast rocking a parking lot inside the hospital yard. Although the building itself did not sustain major damage, the explosion nevertheless reportedly killed around 500 people, who had allegedly gathered in the yard to seek refuge from the Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian enclave, according to the local health authorities.
The NYT analysts concluded that the mid-air blast depicted in he video could have hardly led to such devastating consequences since it took place around two miles (more than three kilometers) away from the medical facility. It was an “unrelated aspect” of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Gaza-based militant groups, the media outlet said.
“The missile in the video was never near the hospital. It was launched from Israel, not Gaza, and appears to have exploded above the Israeli-Gaza border, at least two miles away from the hospital,” the paper said. Even though this piece of evidence does not shed light on what exactly happened at the hospital, the Israeli officials’ attempt to build their case upon it “complicates the straightforward narrative they have put forth,” it added.
The NYT said that it had synchronized the Al Jazeera footage with five other videos taken at the same time, including the ones filmed by an Israeli television station, Channel 12, and a CCTV camera in Tel Aviv. These clips provided the view of the mid-air incident from north, south, east, and west. The paper’s analysts then triangulated the launch point in the videos, using satellite imagery, and determined that the projectile was fired towards Gaza from Israel. The media outlet then said it could not identify the exact type of projectile seen on the video.
Earlier, several groups of journalists and analysts at various NGOs and media outlets questioned the Israeli narrative based on the video as well. Teams at Qatar’s Al Jazeera and the British network Channel 4 studied the footage and concluded that the flash could not be linked with the subsequent explosion at the hospital.
The flash “was in fact consistent with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepting a missile fired from the Gaza Strip and destroying it in midair,” Al Jazeera said at that time.
October 25, 2023 at 09:07PM