The US intelligence community assesses that there likely were between 100 to 300 people killed in the blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, and there was “only light structural damage at the hospital,” according to an unclassified intelligence assessment obtained by CNN that adds more detail to the initial assessment released Wednesday finding Israel was not responsible for the strike.
The unclassified assessment sent to Capitol Hill by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence adds more detail to the US intelligence community’s initial assessment released Wednesday that Israel was not responsible for the strike on the hospital.
“Israel Probably Did Not Bomb Gaza Strip Hospital: We judge that Israel was not responsible for an explosion that killed hundreds of civilians yesterday [17 October] at the Al Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip,” the assessment states. “Our assessment is based on available reporting, including intelligence, missile activity, and open-source video and images of the incident.”
The US intelligence community also estimates the number of deaths from the hospital at the “low end of the 100-to-300 spectrum,” according to the assessment, a lower number than figures initially cited by Hamas of more than 500.
The intelligence community “observed only light structural damage at the hospital,” with no observable damage to the main hospital building and no impact craters, according to the assessment.
“We see only light damage to the roofs of two structures near the main hospital building, but both structures remained intact,” the assessment states.
The US intelligence community released its initial assessment on Wednesday that Israel was not responsible after President Joe Biden stated publicly while in Israel that the strike appeared to have been “the result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza.” Biden is giving a primetime address from the Oval Office on Thursday evening.
The National Security Council has said that the Biden administration plans to publicize as much intelligence as it can about the strike amid accusations that Israel was responsible for the blast.