A rocket fire may have been the cause of the Gaza hospital bombing, a human rights group said

The Al-Ahli Hospital bombing was one of the most controversial incidents in a war (File)

Geneva:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday, October 17 that sources suggested that an errant rocket may have caused an explosion that caused heavy casualties at a hospital in Gaza.

The blast at Al-Ahly Hospital sparked outrage across the Arab world. The Palestinians blamed the Israeli airstrikes, while Israel said the Palestinian rocket launch was due to mishandling.

Gaza’s health ministry said 471 people were killed. Israel denies this figure. An unclassified US intelligence report estimated the death toll at „the low end of the 100 to 300 spectrum”.

„The October 17, 2023 explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which killed and injured several civilians, was the result of rocket-propelled grenades commonly used by Palestinian armed groups,” HRW reported.

It said the findings of its investigation into the explosion were based on a review of photographs and videos, satellite images and interviews with witnesses and experts.

The Al-Ahli Hospital bombing was one of the most controversial incidents of the war.

Senior Hamas official Basem Naim told Reuters that all signs point to Israel’s responsibility, adding that the HRW report was biased towards Israel and was not „conclusive”.

„HRW has not brought any evidence to support their findings or eyewitness accounts or opinions about independent military exports,” he said, adding that Hamas received questions from HRW two weeks ago but asked it to delay its report until after the war. Done.

Emmanuel Nahshon, deputy director-general for public diplomacy at Israel’s foreign ministry, criticized HRW for the time it took to issue its opinion.

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„It took more than a month to half-heartedly reach the conclusion that the whole world reached two days later,” he told the X Social News Network.

Naim said Hamas would offer full cooperation to HRW or any other international investigative team to visit Gaza and conduct a thorough investigation.

HRW said reports of 471 dead and 342 injured „show an unusually high casualty-to-injury ratio” and were „out of proportion” to the damage seen at the site.

„Authorities in Gaza and Israel should release the explosives remnants and other information they have in connection with the Al-Ahli hospital explosion, allowing for a full investigation,” said Ida Sawyer, HRW crisis and conflict director.

Hospitals have been bombed in the Israel-Hamas conflict, and all hospitals in the north have stopped functioning normally, although they continue to house some patients who cannot leave and people displaced from their homes.

Palestinians accuse Israel of targeting hospitals and schools, while Israel says Hamas uses ordinary Gazans as human shields by placing military positions in civilian buildings.

(Other than the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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