RADM. Daniel Hagari

After Action Report to the Press of the Strike on al-Ahli Ma'amadani Hospital

delivered 18  October 2023


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: SECOND PASS text version below transcribed directly from audio]

The IDF has concluded an after-action review and confirmed that the Islamic Jihad was responsible for the strike at the al-Ahli Ma'amadani Hospital in Gaza. We did an immediate review with all relevant branches of the IDF. This is what took place on Tuesday, October 17th.

At 6:15 p.m. a barrage of rockets was fired by Hamas to Israel. Then, at 6:59 p.m. a barrage of around 10 rockets was fired by Islamic Jihad from a nearby cemetery. It was at the time [of] 6:59 p.m. when there were reports of an explosion at the al-Ahli Ma'amadani Hospital in Gaza City. According to our intelligence, Hamas checked the reports, understood it was an Islamic Jihad rocket that had misfired, and decided to launch a global media campaign to hide what really happened. They went as far as inflating the numbers of casualties. They understood with absolute certainty that it was a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad that damaged the hospital.

Analysis of our aerial footage confirms that there was no direct hit to the hospital itself. The only location damage is outside the hospital in the parking lot where we can see signs of burning -- which I will show later -- no cratering, and no structural damage to nearby buildings. As opposed to the damage caused by any aerial munition, which would have been of [a] different nature, we would have seen craters and structure -- and structural damage to the buildings, both of which haven't been in -- haven't been identified in this incident. The size of the damage we see here is due to the warhead of the Islamic Jihad rocket, but most of the rocket's propellant is still evident due to the short flight of the rocket -- because the launch failed.

The following visual evidence shows infrared imagery of the parking lot. You can see the central locations of fires, some debris o[n] rooftops. No craters can be identified. I want to show you that myself.

This is the area of the hospital, okay? We are showing the parking lot and the hospital, okay? Those are in red spots.

This is not in infrared so you can understand it betterly [sic]. This is the parking lot. This is the parking lot.

You can see the parking lot also now in this picture [gesturing off camera to a different image] shown here, okay? Aftermath. After the hit. There is no structural damage to the building. The walls stand intact. There are no craters here [again gesturing to image off camera]. All of the above -- which I said, no structural damage; the walls stay intact; no craters -- these are the characterized [characteristics] that shows that [it is] not an aerial munition that ha[s] hit the parking lot.

We also have examples of what [an] air-to-ground munition crater looks like. As you can see, they do not exist in this instance.

Many a media outlets [sic] immediately reported the unverified claims by Hamas. Those were lies spread by Hamas. I want to make something clear: It is impossible to know what happened as quickly as Hamas claimed they knew. That...should have been an initial warning sign for many.

Unlike Hamas, the IDF launched an immediate examination which was overseen at the very highest levels of command. This professional review was based on intelligence operation -- intelligence, operational systems, and aerial footage, all of which -- which we cross-checked. The evidence which we are sharing with you all confirms that the explosion of the al-Ahli Ma'amadani Hospital in Gaza was caused by an Islamic Jihad rocket that is -- was misfired.

Here are the four main parts of the examination process.

First, we confirmed that there was no IDF fire by land, sea, or air, that hit the hospital.

Second, our radar system tracked rockets fired by terrorists from within Gaza at the time of the explosion. I will show you.

The trajectory analysis from the barrage of rockets confirms that the rockets were fired [in] close proximity to the hospital. In addition, there are two independent videos which show the failure of the rocket launch and the continuation of rocket flight towards the ground within the Gaza Strip falling in the hospital compound.

Third, we have intelligence, some that will -- some that will be shared here, of communication between terrorists talking about rockets misfiring. The terrorists realize that the rocket has misfired and made specific reference to the al-Ahli Ma'amadani Hospital.

I would want to let everybody hear the conversation, and I will do the translation in English.1


Hamas Operative #1: "I'm telling you, this is the first time that we see missile like this falling, and so that's why we are saying it belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.2

Hamas Operative #2: "What?"

Hamas Operative #1: "They are saying it belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."

Hamas Operative #2: "It's from us?"

Hamas Operative #1: "It looks like it."

Hamas Operative #2: "Who says this?"

Hamas Operative #1: "They are saying that the shrapnel from the missile is local shrapnel and not like Israeli shrapnel."

Hamas Operative #2: "What are you saying, [unclear referent]? But God bless, it couldn't have been found another place [other than the hospital] to explode?

Hamas Operative #1: Never mind, yes, [unclear referent], they shot it from the cemetery behind the hospital."

Hamas Operative #2: "What?"

Hamas Operative #1: "They shot it coming from the cemetery behind al Ma'amadani Hospital and it misfired and fell on them."

Hamas Operative #2: "There's a cemetery behind it?"

Hamas Operative #1:  "Yes, al Ma'amadani is exactly in the compound."

Hamas Operative #2: "Where is it when you enter the compound?"

Hamas Operative #1: "You first enter the compound and don't go toward the city and it's on the right side of al Ma'amadani Hospital."

Hamas Operative #2: "Yes, I know it."

We have cross-checked [our] intercept with other intelligence sources to confirm this accuracy. It is common for rockets that are fired to -- at Israel to land short and fall inside Gaza. These rockets fall short of Israel and have caused Palestinian casualties. During this war, we have counted approximately 450 rockets that misfired and failed inside Gaza. Palestinian civilians pay the price.

I want to show you the footage.

These are failed launches during this war [up] until now. These are all failed launches that fell inside the Gaza strip and some of them, of course, created casualties among the Palestinians themselves. And one of them was in the hospital al-Ahli Ma'amadani.

We are also sharing this information with our partners -- first and foremost the United States. We want the maximum transparency because we take any incident involving civilians very, very seriously.

Unfortunately, many in the media immediately reported the statements coming out from Hamas, controlled in Gaza, which blamed Israel. Instead of waiting for the examination of a credible information [sic] from the IDF, some media outlets ran with Hamas' lies. Some of those headlines are still up, have not been corrected. I understand the desire to break news, but I hope you will all agree the accuracy and credible [credibility of] information comes before speed. The IDF acts in accordance with the international law.

In conclusion, this incident shows how allegations, in this case false and baseless allegations made by terrorists against Israel, can spread and [in]flame tension in the region.

1 The transcript in this section follows the YT script  --  but see footnote #2 for clarification -- of the exchange between the two Hamas operatives rather than the exact diction of RAdm Hagari.

2 There is an identity error -- likely carried over from the immediately preceding audio -- in the YT version of the transcript (as well as the English transcript version appearing on idf.il). The YT text indicates a change from Operative #1 to Operative #2 immediately after "...we see missile like this falling" without a corresponding change in either the speaker's voice or the stereo channel (Right) of delivery. Operative #1 is the sole apparent speaker over this section and the transcript above reflects this correction accordingly. As a result of the preceding error, the remaining Operative #1 and Operative #2 identity flow is misconfigured on the YT transcript and has thus been corrected in the transcript above.

Images #1  and #2 Source: twitter.com

Images #3  and #4 Source: IDF.il

Page Updated: 10/24/23

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Uncertain. Images = Fair Use.
































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