Metro Voice is providing a daily round-up of the latest news concerning the Israel-Hamas war.
Hospital explosion was a misfired jihadist rocket
President Joe Biden today confirmed that the explosion at a Gaza hospital Tuesday night was not caused by Israel. The president said both the National Security Council and the Pentagon reviewed intel as well as evidence presented by the IDF.
Some of the evidence presented by Israel was a recorded conversation between Hamas militants discussing the explosion.
The shrapnel, one tells the other, “is not like Israeli shrapnel,” and the second operative asking, “It couldn’t have been found another place, not the hospital, to explode?”
“They shot it from a cemetery behind the hospital…and it misfired and fell on them,” the first Hamas militant explained.
Islamic Jihad struck a Hospital in Gaza—the IDF did not.
Listen to the terrorists as they realize this themselves: pic.twitter.com/u7WyU8Rxwz
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 18, 2023
The rocket launch and explosion was captured both by Israeli security surveillance and carried live by the Arab news network Al Jazeera.
An IDF spokesman released data showing that “approximately 450 rockets” of the thousands launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip had fallen short into the enclave itself, and “Palestinian civilians pay the price.”
It is not known how many of the Gazan casualties are the result of failed Hamas or Islamic Jihad rocket launches.
Jordanians attempt to storm Israeli embassy
Protests continue across the Middle East over the explosion at a Gaza hospital.
In Jordan, social media footage shows thousands violently clashing with Jordanian police who were blocking them from entering the Israeli Embassy compound. Police fired tear gas in order to disperse the crowd.
Many of the protesters held flags bearing the symbols of Hamas and other terror organizations. Both the Jordanian King Abdullah II and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt cancelled scheduled meetings with President Joe Biden after the explosion. Neither Abdullah nor El-Sisi have commented since evidence was released showing Islamic Jihad fired the rocket.
In Istanbul, thousands of protesters gathered at the Israeli embassy and launched fireworks at the building.
Israel continues to supply Jordan with electricity and water because the Hashemite Kingdom cannot provide enough for its own people.
Time Magazine cover is of hostage crisis
TIME releases a new cover story Wednesday —The Hostage Nightmare. The package features accounts gathered by TIME reporters, editors, photo and video journalists, and contributors over last week from the families of those who were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. The new TIME cover features a photograph of Rachel Goldberg and Jonathan Polin, whose son Hersch Goldberg-Polin, age 23, is believed to be among the hostages.
In his letter to readers, TIME Editor-in-Chief Sam Jacobs writes: “Events are moving fast in the Middle East as we close this week’s cover story. President Biden arrived Wednesday. Hundreds of people are feared dead following an explosion at a Gaza City hospital Tuesday. Diplomats are working to create a humanitarian safe zone in Gaza while Israeli airstrikes continue…
As these events throttle forward, we felt it was important to stop, and to listen, to hear from the family members of those who were taken on Oct. 7… These families of the hostages are shattered. Their world is shattered. We hope sharing their stories can help hold that space for peace and begin the necessary work of repairing the world.”
Israelis also displaced
Residents of Gaza are not the only ones displaced by the war against Hamas. Over 500,000 Israeli citizens have self-evacuated their homes or been told to leave by the IDF. The move comes as northern Israel comes under increasing rocket fire and attacks by Hezbollah terrorists crossing the border. Evacuees are also from southern Israel within firing range of Hamas rockets and near what has become a dangerous war zone as the ground invasion of Gaza nears.
“We don’t want civilians near the combat zone,” IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus stated. “We want to protect civilians, first and foremost ours, against the horrible effects of war.”
Three Israelis were wounded in a Hezbollah missile attack in northern Israel Tuesday morning, a day after one was killed and several more injured in a similar incident.
Some sectors of Israel’s economy have slowed as over 360,000 reservists have been activated and are now making preparations in the north and south. The staggering number of both men and women leaving their jobs is putting a strain on the country’s workforce. That brings the total active personnel to over 546,000. It is the largest activation in the country’s history and is the equivilent of 9 million Americans being called up.
Israel launches effort against misinformation
The IDF has launched a social media effort against Hamas and Palestinian propaganda. It comes after Hamas attempted to blame Israel for an explosion at a Gaza hospital.
The false claim by Hamas quickly spread on social media and was repeated by the “Squad” – Democrat members of the House who have repeatedly parroted false information about Israel according to critics.
In a Facebook post, the IDF stated, “Information warfare is dangerous as is, even more so in the hands of terrorist organizations. This is how Hamas lies and why:” above a video showing evidence the explosion was from Jihadists in Gaza.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice and wire services