US senators say after classified briefing that Israel not behind Gaza hospital blast

US senators who attended a classified briefing with top defense, intelligence and other administration officials say they were briefed that Israel was not responsible for the hospital blast in Gaza on Tuesday.

“The intelligence community assesses that Israel is not to blame for the explosion of the hospital in Gaza,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said as he left. “They believe it was an errant rocket from terrorists in Gaza.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said the intelligence is “definitive” that it was not an Israeli operation.

In a joint statement earlier in the day, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the panel, said they had reviewed intelligence and “feel confident that the explosion was the result of a failed rocket launch by militant terrorists and not the result of an Israeli airstrike.”

Israel presented further evidence Wednesday morning that a deadly explosion in the parking lot of the al Ahli Baptist Hospital the previous evening was caused by a misfired rocket launched by Palestinian terrorists.

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