Israel conflict latest: Gaza hospital explosion caused by misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket, says IDF

The IDF said that a misfired rocket launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Gaza-based militant group, is responsible for the explosion at a hospital in the strip that Palestinian authorities said has killed “hundreds”.

Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said an IDF probe concluded that a rocket launched from a cemetery near the hospital just prior to the explosion had misfired and crashed into a parking lot adjacent to the hospital, where civilians may have been taking shelter. The rocket warhead, coupled with its propellant fuel, then ignited, causing the explosion.

“We would have seen craters and structural damage on the building [of the hospital]. [This] hasn’t been identified in this incident,” Hagari said, noting imagery was inconsistent with the use of Israeli munitions.

The IDF also released cellphone audio purportedly containing a conversation between “Hamas operatives” that acknowledged the failed rocket launch.

The Financial Times could not independently verify any of the IDF’s claims or the explosion’s death toll.

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