The Minister of National Defence Bill Blair, released a statement on Oct. 21, 2023, regarding the explosion at Al Ahli Arab Hospital.
“Canada is deeply saddened by the loss of life caused by the explosion at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023. We reiterate our sincere condolences to all those who lost loved ones.”
Tasked Canadian Armed Forces
The minister noted the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM) undertook a review and analysis.
“In order to determine what happened, the Prime Minister asked me to task the Canadian Armed Forces with preparing an independent review and analysis of the explosion. The Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM) undertook that review and analysis. Today, after briefing the Prime Minister, I am releasing its findings,” stated the press release.
Hamas Attack on Israel
On Oct. 7, 2023, conflict erupted in the area when Hamas coordinated an offensive attack on Israel. Over 1,400 Israelis died, along with hundreds taken hostage.
Reacting to the attack, Israel responded with strikes at the Gaza Strip, then declared war on Hamas a day later, on Oct. 8, 2023. The conflict continues to escalate.
DND & CAF Statement
In a separate statement from National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, “Analysis conducted independently by the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command indicates with a high degree of confidence that Israel did not strike the Al Ahli Arab Hospital on 17 October 2023. Based on analysis of open source and classified reporting, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces assess that the strike was more likely caused by an errant rocket fired from Gaza.
“This assessment is informed by an analysis of the blast damage to the hospital complex, including adjacent buildings and the area surrounding the hospital, as well as the flight pattern of the incoming munition. Reporting from Canada’s allies corroborates DND/CAF’s findings. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.”