U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that based on the evidence he’d seen, the explosion at a Gaza hospital the previous night had been caused by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
“I’m deeply saddened and outraged by the hospital blast, which appears to be done by the other team—not you,” said Biden, who landed in Israel on Wednesday to show support for Jerusalem’s war effort against Hamas.
However, he added, “many in the world are not sure of that, so there is still a lot of work to be done.”
The White House issued a statement on Tuesday before Israel presented the conclusions of its investigation into the hospital blast, in which the president said that he had “directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened.”
U.S. and British leaders also reacted on Wednesday to evidence provided by Israel supporting its claim that the explosion occurred in a parking lot near the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City and was caused by a stray Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.
The Hamas terrorist group initially blamed the Israel Defense Forces for the blast, claiming that hundreds were killed and setting off violent riots in regional capitals. Many media outlets rushed to report Hamas’s version of events, before having to backtrack after the IDF shared video and audio evidence that it was in fact a failed PIJ rocket that caused the damage.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly lamented the rush to judgment in an X social-media post.
“Last night, too many jumped to conclusions around the tragic loss of life at Al Ahli hospital,” Cleverly wrote.
“Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk,” he continued. “Wait for the facts, report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail.”
Cleverly recently visited Israel to show support after the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, which claimed at least 1,400 lives and left more than 4,000 people wounded.
Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto called to “punish Hamas” for the hospital bombing.
“We witnessed what happened last night with dismay. The bomb that hit the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinians and wounded the consciences of all of us. The international community must protect innocent civilians and punish Hamas,” tweeted Crosetto.