BREAKING: United States Assesses Reveals #Israel Is Not Responsible For Al-Alhi Arab Gaza Hospital Blast—-According to CNN report, The US government assesses that Israel “was not responsible” for the blast at a hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, according to the National Security Council, following President Joe Biden’s comments that a Palestinian militant group was behind the strike.
A spokesperson for the NSC, Adrienne Watson, said the assessment was based on available reporting, including “intelligence, missile activity, and open source video and images of the incident.”
“While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open-source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” Watson said in a statement on Wednesday.
The NSC followed up with an additional statement Wednesday afternoon leaning further into its assessment. “Intelligence indicates that some Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip believed that the explosion was likely caused by an errant rocket or missile launch carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The militants were still investigating what had happened,” Watson said.
Israeli officials have released audio of what they say is Hamas militants discussing the blast and attributing it to a rocket launched by PIJ.
Officials told CNN separately that the initial evidence gathered by the US intelligence community suggests that the hospital strike came from a rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.
Among the evidence that’s been gathered is a blast analysis that suggests it was a ground explosion rather than an airstrike that hit the hospital, one of the sources said. There was no singular crater suggesting there was a bomb, but there was extensive fire damage and scattered debris that is consistent with an explosion starting from the ground level, according to the source.
That analysis is one datapoint that’s led intelligence officials to lean toward assessing that the attack on the hospital was a rocket launch gone wrong.
Still, the blast analysis is just one of the things being examined by the intelligence community, which has surged intelligence collection assets to the region. US intelligence officials have not made a final assessment and are still gathering evidence, the officials said.
In addition to the blast analysis, the initial US assessment was based on overhead imagery collected from US satellites and intelligence intercepts provided by the Israelis, according to officials.
Current and former law enforcement officials say US the assessment of the cause of the blast is being hampered because of the lack of access to the site and analysis of the bodies recovered. FBI teams can typically use samples from the scene to, within hours, identify the rocket fuel and explosives used, one former FBI official said. Without examining the scene, US officials are left to analyze signals and other intelligence that can help make a strong circumstantial assessment of the cause but is not definitive.