The U.S. Intelligence Community told reporters on Tuesday night that they now have “high confidence” that the explosion near a hospital in Gaza last week was caused by a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists that suffered catastrophic engine failure and disintegrated as it fell to the ground.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, officials from America’s spy agencies said that contrary to claims made by the media, Democrats, and the Palestinians, the explosion was not caused by any Israeli munitions.
“We assess with high confidence that Israel was not responsible for the explosion at the hospital and that Palestinian militants were responsible,” one intelligence official told reporters. “We assess with low confidence that Palestine Islamic Jihad was responsible for launching the rocket that landed on the hospital.”
The explosion in the parking lot caused “no observable damage to the main hospital building,” the report said, which is consistent with the type of smaller rocket that Palestinian terrorists typically fire vs. an aerial bomb or artillery shell fired by the Israelis.
“The damage at the hospital is consistent with what we would expect to see from a rocket and inconsistent with the larger craters and broader blast effects that we would expect to see … from an air dropped munition or an artillery round,” the official added.
U.S. officials said that, like Israel, they also intercepted communications from suspected Hamas terrorists that indicated that Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for launching the rocket.
The officials said that the communications the U.S. intercepted were different than the communications that Israel intercepted and later released publicly that show two Hamas terrorists blaming Palestine Islamic Jihad for the explosion.
Based on the collected intelligence, “our conclusion is that there was a catastrophic motor failure that likely occurred which separated the motor and the warhead,” the official said. “The warhead landed in the hospital compound and that was the second explosion and a much bigger one.”
The official said that there was no indication that Israel shot the rocket down with the Iron Dome. Israel does not fire interceptors from the Iron Dome over Gaza for this exact reason.
The official also gave credence to various reports that have been published, including from Israel’s military, that many of the rockets that Palestinian terrorists fire end up malfunctioning and landing inside Gaza.
“The failure rate for these domestically produced rockets is pretty high,” the official said. “There are a lot of incidents in which they don’t make it out of Gaza. They land in the sea, they fail to reach their targets.”