The U.S. is now confident of Israeli innocence in a widely reported explosion at the Gaza City hospital. American intelligence officials made the statement Tuesday after examining multiple videos of the rocket in-flight.
They now have high confidence that Palestinian militants inside Gaza launched the rocket last week and a catastrophic engine failure caused it to crash near the hospital where it killed scores of people. They add that the small crater from the explosion is consistent with a Palestinian rocket rather than a more powerful Israeli bomb.
The U.S. intelligence report backs up Israel’s own military report released right after the accident. Multiple news outlets and Democrats initially blamed Israel and repeated a falsely reported death toll of more than 500. That included Squad Members Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Omar has since walked back her statement, but Tlaib stated Tuesday that she “cannot uncritically accept Israel’s denials of responsibility as fact.” She added that both Israel and the U.S. have long histories of misleading the public about war crimes.