SATELLITE images from the site of the Gaza hospital blast alleged to have killed 500 appear to reveal minimal damage to the hospital itself.
It comes as both Israel and US officials claim to have evidence that “proves” the deadly explosion was caused by a Palestinian terrorist rocket.
A fiery explosion rocked Al-Ahli Arab hospital in the Gaza Strip last night and reportedly killed at least 471 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
The catastrophic disaster has sparked both an international outcry and a vicious blame game between Hamas, its terrorist allies and Hamas.
The blast was originally reported as an Israeli airstrike, but Jerusalem – and now Washington – has vehemently denied Israel was responsible.
Israel has also questioned the legitimacy of the original death toll claimed by Hamas.
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And now, new satellite pictures appear to reveal a striking lack of damage to the hospital compound that surrounds the car park blast site.
It casts doubt over Hamas’s claims of massive destruction and hundreds of casualties.
Today, Israel released a trove of alleged evidence which it claims proves the explosion was caused by a misfiring rocket belonging to Islamic Jihad – another Palestinian terrorist group that operates in Gaza.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden arrived in Tel Aviv this morning and hammered home the IDF line that the hospital blast was not an Israeli missile but was carried out by “the other team”.
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“Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.
“But there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot we’ve got to overcome a lot of things,” Biden said.
He has since revealed his claims were based on “data I was shown by my defence department”.
This evening, US officials bolstered his statements by revealing they have collected “high confidence” intelligence signals that the Islamic Jihad were behind the explosion, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“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,” said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.
It comes as:
Biden’s visit marks his most forceful public display of support for Israel since Hamas unleashed a bloodbath in southern Israel on October 7.
The US President was also scheduled to visit Jordan after stopping in Israel, but the meetings were called off following the hospital compound explosion.
Arab leaders continue to assert that Israel was in fact responsible for the deaths of the 471 people.
As news broke of the tragedy, a harrowing photo was quickly released showing a group of doctors surrounded by the bodies of dead Palestinian children.
Blood-soaked sheets covering a huge pile of victims could be seen across what was left of the hospital’s grounds, as witnesses say the “smell of bodies” now hangs in the air.
“The hospital was full of dead and wounded, dismembered bodies, and dead,” said Dr Fadel Naim, Head of the hospital’s Orthopedic Surgery Department.
The attack sparked international outrage with protesters in Jordan trying to storm the Israeli embassy, while Lebanese demonstrators clashed with security forces outside the US embassy.
On the ground in Gaza, there were scenes of chaos as the dead and wounded were taken to nearby medical centres following the explosion.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed an Israeli air strike was responsible, while Jerusalem blamed a terrorist rocket failure.
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad said this is “completely incorrect” and accused the IDF of “trying to cover for the horrifying crime and massacre they committed”.
In retaliation, the IDF released drone footage that reveals no visible signs of a crater or significant damage to buildings, which they say is proof an Israeli air strike was not to blame.
Adding to their defence, the IDF also released alleged recordings of two Hamas operatives claiming the rocket was fired by Islamic Jihad.
They wrote: “Islamic Jihad struck a Hospital in Gaza – the IDF did not.
“Listen to the terrorists as they realize this themselves”.
The audio recording begins with the first Hamas operative saying: “I’m telling you this is the first time that we see a missile like this falling”.
A second militant responds: “And so that’s why we are saying it belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad”.
The first speaker says: “What?, before the other replies: “They are saying it belongs to Palestinian Islamic Jihad”.
“It’s from us?” asks the first Hamas operative, to which he is met with the response: “It looks like it.”
Meanwhile, Israeli TV also broadcast footage that appeared to show a rocket barrage being fired over the hospital from within the Gaza Strip at the time of the explosion.
Speaking about the strike, Former British army commander Richard Camp said there’s “no doubt” the IDF weren’t responsible for the attack.
Speaking to The Sun, he described Israel’s evidence as “pretty compelling” and stated he “wouldn’t trust” casualty figures produced by the terror group.
“In my experience, the IDF does not deny doing something of this sort if they do do it.
“There have been incidents in the past, where they’ve accidentally caused large numbers of civilian casualties, and in each case, when that’s happened they have admitted and explained why it happened
“In my opinion there’s no doubt that the IDF did not carry out this attack.”
Camp added: “I wouldn’t trust the casualty figures produced the Hamas.
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“The Gaza medical authorities are controlled by Hamas, and the figures they produce, very often are false, very often exaggerated.
“They very often attribute to the IDF casualties that have been called by their own people.”