The Israeli army said Wednesday it had “evidence” that militants were responsible for the blast that killed hundreds at a Gaza hospital, saying a review proved others were at fault.
“The evidence — which we are sharing with you all — confirms that the explosion at the hospital in Gaza was caused by an Islamic Jihad rocket that misfired,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari told a press conference in Tel Aviv.
The comments came after an explosion at a Gaza hospital compound on Tuesday evening killed at least 200 people, according to health officials in the war-torn enclave, sparking protests across the Middle East and wide-ranging condemnation.
“There was no IDF (Israeli army) fire by land, sea or air that hit the hospital,” Hagari said.
“Our radar system tracked missiles fired by terrorists in Gaza at the time of the explosion and the trajectory analysis of the rockets shows the rockets were fired in close proximity to the hospital.”
Following the blast, the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the territory, pinned the blame on Israel.
The war of words continued on Wednesday with Hamas firing back at Israel’s latest comments about the strike, saying “Its outrageous lies do not deceive anyone”.
Israel “is directly responsible for this horrific massacre which was carried out… with American weapons only the occupation possesses”, Hamas said in a statement.
For more than a week, Israel has carried out a withering bombardment of Gaza – retaliation for the killing of 1,400 people who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death in shock cross-border attacks launched by Hamas on October 7.