Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) called for an “independent investigation” into the bombing of a Gaza Strip hospital on Monday, continuing her refusal to accept US and Israeli findings they say show Islamic Jihad terrorists were behind the atrocity. 

“Media outlets and third-party analysts have raised doubts about claims and evidence offered by both Israel and the Gaza Ministry of Health, and I agree with the United Nations that an independent investigation is necessary,” Tlaib said in a statement.

“I cannot uncritically accept Israel’s denials of responsibility as fact, especially in light of confirmation from the World Health Organization that Israel has bombed numerous medical facilities in Gaza and reports from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of ongoing threats from the Israeli military to evacuate hospital,” she said.

Hamas claimed last week that an Israeli airstrike killed about 500 people at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City  — sparking riots across the Middle East and forcing President Biden to scrap a planned summit with Arab leaders in Jordan.

A view inside the Al-Ahli hospital following it being hit by a rocket.Telegram
An injured person is taken into a hospital after hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, in this screen grab obtained from video Oct. 17, 2023. REUTERS

But both the White House and the Israeli government have determined that the explosion was caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket from the Palestinian side of the border. 

Islamic Jihad is a smaller, more radical Palestinian terrorist group that often works with Hamas.

“Both the Israeli and United States governments have long, documented histories of misleading the public about wars and war crimes – like last year’s Israeli military assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh and the false claims of weapons of mass destruction that led our country into the Iraq War – and cannot clear themselves of responsibility without an independent international investigation,” Tlaib added. “This debate should not distract us from the urgent need for a ceasefire to save innocent civilian lives.” 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) speaks at a news conference on the introduction of the “Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights” outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Sept. 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. Getty Images
President Biden speaks during an event on the economy, from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.AP

The Israeli government has published intercepted phone calls from Gaza and other evidence it says shows its military wasn’t behind the bombing. 

Israeli officials also said that several dozen people lost their lives in the blast, rather than the 500 or so that Hamas reported perished.

“I don’t know all the detail, but I do know the people at the Defense Department who I respect and the intelligence community that I respect, say it is highly improbable that Israel did that,” Biden, 80, told reporters last week.

People search through debris outside the site of the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza on Oct. 18, 2023 in the aftermath of an overnight blast there. AFP via Getty Images

The New York Times, which initially pinned the bombing on Israel, citing Hamas, walked back its reporting on Monday, admitting it  “relied too heavily” on information from the terror group. 

Investigations by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and the Associated Press have also found evidence that the missile came from the terrorist organization — and not Israel — based on television footage they said appeared to show a misfired Palestinian rocket in the air above the hospital.

Tlaib raged in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, tweeting, “Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that. [Biden] this is what happens when you refuse to facilitate a ceasefire &  help de-escalate. Your war and destruction only approach has opened my eyes and many Palestinian Americans and Muslims Americans like me. We will remember where you stood.”

Then, at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the US Capitol, the Michigan Democrat doubled down on the Hamas narrative.

“People think it’s OK to bomb a hospital with children,” Tlaib, a member of the far-left “Squad” of congressional Democrats, told the crowd last Wednesday.

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