There is no dearth of mysteries in the ongoing Israel-Palestine war. The blast at Gaza City’s al-Ahli hospital, aka Ahli Arab hospital, is morphing into another mystery, the most enigmatic of them all. No one has owned up to the blast that has killed hundreds. The mysteries begin here. The Gaza-controlling Hamas blamed Israel, which denied any involvement and blamed Hamas in return. A raft of accusations and counter-accusations are deepening the mystery.
Glaring Gaps Galore in Reports
The blast that shattered the hospital happened on October 17th. It was 19:00 local time and 16:00 GMT. A social media 20-second video shows the recording of a whistling sound of incoming projectiles, followed by a major explosion and fire. Analysts say it was a rocket that exploded. The strike does not look like Israel’s, as the Jewish nation usually explodes a large munition. The ground explosion too was small. Mystery again. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/18/what-do-we- know-about-the-strike-on-the-hospital-in-gaza
Was this blast, as Israel claims, Hamas’s failed rocket exploding and causing fire? If the rocket did fail, it could have happened because of an overheated engine. Detailed visual checks show that the blast did happen at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City. Contrary to Hamas’s claims, these checks prove the hospital wasn’t damaged in a big way. While Palestine claims that 471 were killed in the blast, Israel says the figure is far lower. Yet another mystery.
Video Courtesy: Sky News/YouTube
No End to Mind-Bending Mysteries
The puzzling question is how 471, or lower as Israel claims, were killed when the hospital claims its main building and its precincts housed nearly 2,000, including patients, displaced Gazans and hospital staff. Whatever happened to the rest of them? Where are they now? Will they come forward to tell the world what they have seen and know? Calling Israel’s bluff, lifeless bodies continue to be discovered, even as this story unfolds and develops rapidly. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/17/israel- hamas-gaza-hospital-anglican-church/
There is no end to mysteries in the al-Ahli story. Despite claiming that Palestine’s casualty number is inflated, Israel refuses to reveal the number of deaths and injured, dislocated and displaced, duly endorsed by its own IDF, aka the Israel Defence Forces. Why guard this piece of statistics as a precious secret is another mystery. However, to many, Israel’s aversion to share this morsel of statistics tells the world it has more to hide.
The Mystery is Getting Meatier
One possibility is that the actual casualty number may be much more than what even Hamas claims. However, putting up a nonchalant front, Israel is citing the smallness of the crater caused by the blast and asserting its weapons are capable of causing only large craters. Israel is also claiming that there were no collateral damages to nearby installations and structures in a bid to prove that the al-Ahli hospital blast is not its handiwork. https://www.npr.org/2023/10/18/1206795861/heres-the- available-evidence-of-what-happened-at-al-ahli-arab-hospital-in- gaza
The more Israel denies, the mystery is getting meatier. Despite this, the IDF has released the recording of an intercepted chat between two Hamas militants. The chat revolves around the news of the Gaza hospital being hit by projectiles fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, aka PIJ, the second-largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas. This group backs the 7th October attack of Hamas. However, the PIJ has trashed the recording. https://poliphoon.com/beyond-the-simchat-torah-festival/
The Solution has Moved Away
Even as the hospital mystery thickens further, Arab nations seem not much worried. They are in no mood to cast doubts on the veracity of either the al-Ahli hospital attack or the intercepted chat. However, they are very angry over how the conflict is developing. Upset, Arabs, represented by Jordan, called off the summit meeting between visiting American president Joe Biden and Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, president of Egypt. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/18/why-has-jordan-cancelled-biden-visit-after-israel-bombing-of-gaza- hospital
In this summit meeting, they were to confabulate with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to find a lasting solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem. Post-al Ahli, such a solution has moved away. This is why, despite the absence of clarity, the Arabs are more upset with Israel after the hospital attack. Worse, the insensitive al-Ahli attack reveals the mindset of Israel and shows how it is not keen on urging and motivating Palestinians to shift base to South Gaza.
The Poliphoon’s Last Word
The shifting idea was conceived to spare Gazans the agonies of a prolonged war. Yet, just 55 percent of the Gazans has agreed to shift, which means they are still suspicious. The al-Ahli attack, despite its unresolved mysteries, will delay the shifting process further. The distasteful consequences of this delay will have to be borne solely by the embattled Gazans. Sadly, Gazans are condemned to suffer longer and that too on multiple fronts. This is al-Ahli’s worst tragedy.