As the sun rose over Gaza, fresh evidence of exactly what happened at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital has emerged, and it exposes perhaps the worst war-time disinformation campaign in modern history. Before we get there, though, it’s important to understand the timeline.
The hospital was first reported to have been struck by the Gaza Health Ministry, controlled by Hamas, at 7:20 PM (all times will be local) on Tuesday evening. Almost immediately, claims of carnage, leveled buildings, and at least 500 dead from an “Israeli bombing” began to inundate the world press, including American outlets like The New York Times, ABC News, CNN, and the Associated Press.
BREAKING: At least 500 people have been killed in a strike that targeted Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the middle of Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.— ABC News (@ABC) October 17, 2023
The hospital served as a shelter for thousands of residents who fled their homes in northern Gaza. https://t.co/ZIWJEEqT1m
Yet, it was also immediately clear that things weren’t adding up. In my initial write-up, I noted several bits of information that would lead one to believe it was actually a rocket fired from Gaza that misfired and fell short. Shortly after publishing that piece, video evidence emerged, and it wasn’t from the Israelis.
Rather, it was a live broadcast that occurred on Al Jazeera, and it included a timestamp on the chryon (i.e. no one can claim it was doctored). What the pro-Hamas network inadvertently showed was that at 6:59 PM, a rocket was fired from Gaza, exploded mid-air, and then fell down onto the hospital grounds.
By early Wednesday morning, more proof had emerged, including an intercepted conversation between jihadists admitting that a rocket had misfired near the hospital and caused the damage.
Hamas terrorists in their own voices:— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) October 18, 2023
Listen to the conversation between Hamas operatives as they discuss the failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on October 17, 2023. pic.twitter.com/mz31MiePU3
All of that would have been conclusive enough, but now that there is daylight in the area, what we are seeing at the hospital is shocking.
Full footage from TASS, no impact craters, interior spaces appear to be intact. Injuries from flying glass appear to have occurred. pic.twitter.com/XCP8mG5YGx— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 18, 2023
So let’s walk through it.— AG (@AGHamilton29) October 18, 2023
We now have video of the scene showing the explosion is from the parking lot and the buildings are in tact. There is no crater, no building demolished. This is inconsistent with the type of bomb many were suggesting yesterday. pic.twitter.com/HFKKxS8kvr pic.twitter.com/SpgG3Ktbiy
As you can see, the hospital itself was not even hit or damaged (aside from some broken windows). Rather, the rocket fell short into the parking lot, burning some cars. There is no impact crater consistent with a high-explosive bomb from the IAF. Instead, essentially all of the damage appears to have been from a fire caused by the unspent rocket fuel.
Further, the idea that 500 people were killed appears to be completely false. At most, it may have been a few dozen people, and that’s assuming the parking even had a large number of people in it. As I pointed out in my initial reporting, it would have been impossible for Hamas to recover and count 500 bodies from a supposedly still-burning hospital within the span of an hour. That never made sense.
This was a targeted disinformation campaign that ran its way around the globe, parroted by the largest news outlets, causing violence in multiple countries. That violence is still ongoing, with Western embassies and consulates under attack in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, among others.
It was all based on a lie told by a terrorist organization. This wasn’t a small fudging of the situation either. Hamas completely made up a story about a hospital being leveled by an IAF bombing. The press reported it uncritically for hours, with some claiming people were being “pulled from the rubble.” They then made up a story about 500 people being dead. The press also repeated those numbers with zero verification.
Where is the accountability? Who is going to lose their job over this? Will there be apologies issued from these news organizations that claim the utmost credibility? Don’t hold your breath, but let this be another lesson that you should never blindly believe the mainstream press, especially when there are tell-tale signs that things aren’t adding up.