6:39 p.m. ET, October 18, 2023
Video shows rocket fired from Gaza exploding above Gaza City before explosion at hospital
Video from an Al Jazeera news camera appears to show a rocket fired from a Gaza explosion in flight above Gaza City, which happened moments before an explosion is seen at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital
It is still not clear if they are related.
CNN is continuing to conduct its own investigation into the blast at the hospital, and has not yet made any final conclusions.
CNN began reviewing this video Tuesday shortly after the explosion. Since then, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has pointed to this video as evidence that it was not responsible for the explosion at the hospital.
CNN referenced nearby buildings in the video to geolocate them to an area just west of the hospital.
The video was broadcast live from an east-facing Al Jazeera camera and captures the rocket trail rising into the air just a few seconds after it was launched. The time on the screen reads 6:59 p.m local time.
By geolocating where the Al Jazeera video was taken from, and the direction it's capturing, CNN has determined the rocket was fired from an area south of Gaza City. The rocket can be seen in the video continuing to rise, until it suddenly veers straight up in the air.
The rocket then is seen making a sharp turn back toward the direction from where it was fired. A streak of fire is seen as the rocket flies significantly faster, continuing back toward the direction it was fired.
Suddenly, the rocket is seen exploding mid-flight, in the air high above Gaza City. The rocket trail is no longer visible. From the video, it is unclear where the rocket ultimately fell.
Retired Col. Cedric Leighton told CNN after reviewing the video that "it's consistent with a malfunctioning rocket."
"The 'lights' are consistent with a rocket burning fuel as it tries to reach altitude," Leighton said. "The aerial explosion is consistent with the type of explosion you’d see when a rocket malfunctions."
Moments after the mid-air explosion, a flash of light is seen in the video in the east toward the ground. As the camera pans down, an explosion in another area of east Gaza City is seen.
Then, a second flash of light — an explosion — is seen at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital complex.
There is only one rocket trail seen in the video. If the rising rocket was intercepted by another rocket, there would be another rocket trail.
The Iron Dome system is programmed to only intercept rockets that are about to land in Israel. The location of this explosion is in the middle of Gaza and an intercept that far into Gaza would be unusual, according to CNN’s Jerusalem correspondent Hadas Gold.