During a live television broadcast, a heated exchange unfolded between former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and CNN’s Anderson Cooper over reports on the rocket strike on Gaza’s Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital.
The incident, disputed by Israel and Hamas, claimed numerous lives, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Authorities in Gaza said Israel was to blame for the hospital bombing.
However, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson attributed the misfire to a rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Joe Biden later backed the claims during his visit to Israel.
During a segment on CNN, Bennett contested the divided narratives surrounding the event.
“There are no two sides to this hospital,” he began.
“Either it was bombed by Israel or it was targeted by someone else on the Palestinian side. And if it’s—if two people come and say, one says it’s raining outside and the other says it’s dry, you don’t bring the quotes of both sides.”
“You just goddamn open the window and look whether it’s raining or not,” Bennett added.
“That’s what we did. And this hospital, in fact it’s a parking lot, was hit definitely, a hundred percent, by Islamic Jihad barrage shot fired at 6:59 p.m,” Bennett continued.
Bennett then highlighted video evidence from different angles, ballistic analyses, and intercepted communications between Hamas operatives, arguing it is irrefutable proof against the alleged Israeli involvement.
He then went on to blast the media for presenting a dichotomized view.
“We have three different videos from different angles showing it,” Bennett said.
“We have the ballistics. We know that an Israeli bomb would have created a crater, which does not exist,” he added.
“We know that the propellant in the rocket, because it was a long-term rocket targeted for Israel, so a lot of that propellant was still in the rocket, which created a lot of fire,” he added.
“We have two Hamas [inaudible] talking to each other and saying and admitting that it is from Islamic Jihad. So, Anderson, with all due respect, there aren’t two sides to this. Not everything is two sides,” he continued.
Former Israeli PM Snaps at Anderson Cooper Over Gaza Hospital Rocket Strike: ‘Do Your Godd*mn Job’ pic.twitter.com/RXO5UvAtYO— Resist the Mainstream (@ResisttheMS) October 20, 2023
Cooper then tried to emphasize CNN’s inability to independently verify the claims, affirming the reporting of information as provided by Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies.
“We’re simply saying we have not been able to independently verify the claims that have been made. We have reported exactly what Israel has put forward and also that the U.S. intelligence community has backed up as well,” Cooper said.
Bennett then interrupted Cooper, drawing a parallel to the 9/11 attacks, decrying the double standard in the portrayal of Israel in the global media.
“Anderson, I have to barge in here. I have to say something. I was in 9/11, I was in Manhattan when it happened,” Bennett snapped.
“And if, a day later, al-Qaeda would have said that it’s America who perpetrated it, no one would have quoted al-Qaeda.”
“No one would — and you didn’t have validation back then that it was al-Qaeda, but you knew it’s not America. And somehow there’s a double standard here,” Bennett added.