French military intelligence said there was no evidence that an Israeli attack caused the al-Ahly Arab hospital explosion.
A misfired Palestinian rocket may have been the cause of the deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in the Gaza Strip, French military intelligence says, as Israel and the Palestinian Authority trade blame over the blast. concluded that it is high.
The Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) said on Friday that the explosion was likely caused by a malfunctioning Palestinian rocket carrying about 5 kg of explosives, and that no information suggested an Israeli missile attack.
DRM said the size of the explosion was consistent with a rocket used by the Palestinian group Hamas and the impact crater was too small to have been caused by an Israeli missile.
“While there is nothing to say that this was an Israeli attack, the most likely [scenario] “It was a Palestinian-made rocket that caused the launch incident,” a senior French military official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The DRM did not give an estimated death toll, but said it was likely lower than the 471 deaths reported by the Palestinian Authority.
The official said the assessment was based on classified intelligence, satellite imagery, information shared by other countries, and open source information such as images showing minor structural damage to a hospital and relatively few civilian belongings at the blast site. said.
French President Emmanuel Macron ordered DRM, which does not normally publish its findings, to share its findings amid conflicting accounts of who carried out the attacks.
An assessment by French intelligence has prompted a flurry of claims and counterclaims over the hospital bombings that have sparked protests across the Middle East.
Palestinian authorities say the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike, but Israel denies responsibility, saying it was caused by a rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.
An Al Jazeera investigation based on video footage cast doubt on Israel’s statement that the flash captured on a live newscast was the result of an unexploded rocket that hit the hospital.
Earlier this week, the US National Security Council announced its “current assessment” that Israel was not responsible for the explosion.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 471 people were killed in the explosion, but Israel claimed the death toll had been deliberately inflated.
US intelligence estimates the number of victims between 100 and 300.
On Friday, the United Nations called for an independent investigation into the explosion.
“There is clearly a need for an independent investigation, an investigation into what happened,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office, told a news conference in Geneva.
“There needs to be accountability.”