Claim: The IDF claims that an audio clip of Hamas operatives discussing the blast at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, which killed hundreds of civilians, proves that Hamas was responsible for the tragedy.

Fact:  The audio clip is not a credible source of evidence as it is mistranslated, edited, and contradicted by other sources of evidence. 

On 17 October 2023, a massive explosion rocked the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, where hundreds of displaced people had sought refuge from the ongoing Israeli bombardment. The blast killed at least 500, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. It was one of the deadliest incidents in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Hamas blames Israel for the attack, accusing it of targeting the hospital with an airstrike. Israel denied any involvement and said that the blast was caused by an errant rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group, which malfunctioned and landed on the hospital.

The Israeli army released an audio clip the following day, claiming it is a recording of Hamas operatives discussing the blast and admitting that it was caused by a PIJ rocket. According to the IDF, the audio clip was intercepted by its intelligence and  proved that Hamas was responsible for the incident.

Fact or Fiction?

The audio clip released by the IDF is not a reliable source of evidence for several reasons. It contains mistranslations that distort the meaning of the original Arabic conversation and imply a false admission of guilt by Hamas. It is made up of two separate channels that have been edited together, suggesting that the audio has been manipulated, and the discussion in the audio recordings is inconsistent with other evidence, such as the location of the rocket launch site.

The audio clip is mistranslated. 

The IDF provided English subtitles for the Arabic conversation, but they do not match the actual words spoken by the alleged Hamas operatives. For example, the IDF subtitles state one of them says “and so that’s why we are saying [the missile] belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad”, implying he is confessing that Hamas knows the truth. However, an independent translation by The New Arab shows he actually says “and so that’s why we they are saying the missiles belong to Islamic Jihad”, meaning that he is reporting what others are saying, not what he knows. 

Soch Fact Check also to Bara’a Al Ma’any through the Arab Fact Checking Network (AFCN),  a fact-checking project led by the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). Ma’any confirmed that the translation by The New Arab is the correct one. In addition, he also told us that in most cases, Hamas operatives speak through walkie-talkies and not cell phones, which is another reason why he believes this audio is misleading.

Similarly, the IDF’s subtitles show that the operative says, “They shot it from the cemetery behind the hospital”, suggesting that he is confirming the IDF’s version of events. However, a more accurate translation is “perhaps they shot it from the cemetery behind the hospital”, indicating that he is speculating, not stating a fact.

The New Arab’s corrected transcript of the audio recording released by Israel allegedly shows a phone conversation between two Hamas operatives.

The audio clip is edited.

A forensic sound analysis by, a non-profit organisation specialising in audio verification, found that the audio clip comprises two separate channels and that the two voices have been recorded independently. The analysis also showed that the audio clip was edited together in a digital audio workstation, a software for audio production and manipulation. concluded that “though this audio analysis cannot categorically state that the audible dialogue is fake,’s opinion is that the level of manipulation required to edit these two voices together disqualifies it as a source of credible evidence.”

Earshot is the world’s first not-for-profit organisation producing audio investigations for human rights and environmental advocacy. They do contract-based work with clients, and in addition to that, they are funded through grant money and donor support. Their website says: “The limited income from such commissions is reinvested in the activities of our organisation.” 

The same assessment was used by Channel 4 to say that the forensic sound analysis, coupled with Arabic language experts’ assessment, can be used to say that the two voices in the audio clip have been edited together. Their investigation concluded that the level of manipulation required to create this audio discredits it as a credible piece of evidence. 

The audio clip is contradicted by other sources of evidence. 

A BBC investigation revealed a discrepancy between the IDF’s claim that the PIJ rocket was launched from a nearby cemetery and the map that the IDF showed in its briefing. The map indicated a launch site located farther away from the hospital and not near any cemetery. 

According to an investigation by Misbar, the information in the audio recording is inconsistent with the satellite images and video footage showing the location and timing of the blast. Misbar‘s team used Google Maps to locate the cemeteries around the hospital and found that the cemetery in question was Sheikh Shaaban, which is about 200 metres away from the hospital. “Based on various military and news reports, the velocity of the rockets used by the Palestinian resistance is between 300 to 800 metres per second.” the investigation added. 

According to Misbar’s report, a rocket would take less than two seconds to reach the hospital from the cemetery. However, according to videos available online, including one aired by Al Jazeera Mubasher, which shows the moment the hospital was bombed, two explosions can be seen. The second explosion is instant, and the source of the first explosion is a projectile which can be seen flying over Gaza for 13 seconds before it explodes, which contradicts the IDF’s version of events.

Misbar is an Arab fact-checking platform, launched in 2019 within a social media platform called Baaz, Inc. Now separate, Misbar is a not-for-profit website owned by Metafora Production W.L.L. Their website’s About Us section states: “According to Misbar’s policy, employees may not engage in partisan political activity or contribute to political candidates or lobbying organizations.”

Additionally, a Gaza-based journalist interviewed by The New Arab said that the question that one of the operatives asked about the location of the hospital in the audio clip was very unusual, as the name and location of the hospital are well known to everyone in Gaza. 


The audio clip released by the IDF received more than 20 million views, 67,000 likes and 30,000 reposts on X, a social media platform.

We also found this claim shared on Facebook here, here, and here

Conclusion:  The IDF’s claim that it has a recording of Hamas operatives admitting responsibility for the Al-Ahli hospital blast in Gaza is false. The audio clip is not a credible source of evidence as it is mistranslated, made up of two separate channels that have been edited together, and the information regarding the attack that can be heard in the clip is contradicted by other sources of evidence.

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