October 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Archbishop Warns of Gaza Hospital ‘Blood Libel’

October 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Archbishop Warns of Gaza Hospital ‘Blood Libel’

Latest Developments

Allegations of Israeli responsibility for the October 17 Gaza hospital blast could be tantamount to an antisemitic blood libel, the head of the Church of England warned on October 22. Asked during a visit to Jerusalem to comment on the circumstances of the blast, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby asserted: “What I have said to people, publicly, is: ‘Don’t assume it’s Israel. You have no proof that it’s Israel. Many people have made a clear case it’s not. At the very best, do not start propagating another blood libel.’” He demurred on giving a figure for the dead, saying: “I have no idea about how many civilians there were. I’ve heard so many numbers.”

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Hamas accusations that the Israeli air force attacked Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza killing “hundreds” of civilians quickly resonated in global media, despite the Palestinian terrorist group’s dismal record of non-accountability. Hamas’ allegations came despite its lack of aerial surveillance technologies and the implausibility that it had the capacity carry out a reliable casualty count in such short order.

Conducting its own after-action study, Israel found that the explosion, in a parking lot of the hospital, was caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that fell short. Analyses by the United States, France and Canada reached similar conclusions. Israel has also put the death toll at several dozen.

Expert Analysis

“The archbishop’s statement is much-needed and demands amplification. With antisemitism flaring among the supposedly ‘pro-Palestinian’ protests rocking Western cities, extreme caution is required in relaying information that Hamas is so obviously rigging with a view to engineering international excoriation of the Jewish state.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Palestinian terrorist organizations have a track record of launching rockets ineffectively. In contrast to numerous armed groups in the region that also receive military support from Iran, Hamas and other factions create their own weaponry out of materials like water pipes. Consequently, misfires and other accidents are common.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Unwittingly Admits Gaza Rockets Are Prone to Misfire,” FDD Flash Brief

How Palestinian Terrorists Yet Again Killed Palestinians, Lied to the Media,” by Mark Dubowitz

Gaza Hospital Suffers Explosion, Islamic Jihad Misfire Implicated,” FDD Flash Brief


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