The human toll of the strike on the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza on Tuesday is “probably at the low end of a range between 100 and 300” deathsaccording to an American intelligence note of which AFP was able to consult extracts on Thursday October 19.
This summary sent to Congress affirms, as Joe Biden declared on Wednesday, that Israel “probably did not bomb the hospital in the Gaza Strip.” “We are still working on the number of deaths and our estimate may change, but this human toll still represents a staggering loss of human life“, estimates the office at the origin of this note, the ODNI, which coordinates all American intelligence agencies.
The American services did not observe “only minor damage to the hospital structures”. “There is no observable damage to the main hospital building, nor any impact crater,” we can still read in extracts from this note.
471 dead according to the Palestinian authorities
Intelligence reports indicate that “Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip believed that the explosion was probably caused by a defective rocket or missile fired by Islamic Jihad“, according to extracts from the document consulted by AFP.
Hamas had accused Israel, which denied it, of bombing the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza on Tuesday. This strike left at least 471 people displaced by the conflict dead. who were sheltering within the hospital grounds, according to the Palestinian Territory’s Ministry of Health.
A senior European intelligence official, interviewed by AFP, assessed “a few dozen” the number of deaths from this strike. And an Israeli army spokesperson also disputed the number put forward by Hamas: “Where are all the bodies?“, he said.
Israel and Islamic Jihad blame each other
AFP photos and videos show dozens of bodies in sheets, black body bags or under blankets. Israel claimed to have “evidence” of the responsibility of Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian movement, in the strike on the hospital.
An Israeli army spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, reiterated that it was “not an Israeli bomb because there is no crater in the photos”. According to Islamic Jihad — an ally of Hamas and classified like it as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, and Israel — it is a bomb dropped by an Israeli army plane who caused the tragedy.