Hospital Explosion Latest in String of Hundreds of Hamas and PIJ Misfires
On Tuesday, October 17, an explosion at a hospital in Gaza resulted in more than 400 deaths. Hamas claimed that the explosion was due to an Israeli airstrike, part of the group’s effective disinformation strategy to delegitimize Israel. However, the Israel Defense Forces moved quickly to provide clear evidence, which the United States later confirmed, that a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket was responsible. Such misfires, and resulting Gazan casualties, are a common occurrence during Gaza conflicts. A JINSA assessment of the 2021 Gaza conflict indicated that as many as fifteen percent of all rockets fired by militants misfired, many of them landing inside Gaza, and were responsible for about seventeen percent of all civilian casualties in Gaza.
President Biden, after examining the evidence, defended Israel and acknowledged the complexity of targeting terrorists who use civilian shields. The quick and decisive IDF and U.S. response should be a model for how similar incidents in the future are handled.
Blaise Misztal – Vice President for Policy
Yoni Tobin – Policy Analyst