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Updated Oct 19, 2023, 6:27am EDT
politics

Biden admin encouraged to release intel on Gaza hospital blast

Planet Labs PBC/Handout via REUTERS
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The News

The White House is facing calls from members of Congress to release more information publicly that led to its conclusion that Israel was not behind the explosion at a hospital in Gaza earlier this week.

Senators, who received a classified briefing from administration officials on Wednesday about Israel, backed up the administration’s conclusion that an errant strike from a terrorist group caused the explosion, which is believed to have killed hundreds of people on Tuesday. But some argued that officials should release as much as they can publicly to combat what they described as misinformation about the blast.

“I think it is very important that the intelligence community and others lean forward as much as possible to bring that evidence to light, since there are clearly protests not only in the West Bank but around the world,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

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“This is being debated in the press around the world and clearly there are some press outlets that are not friendly to the United States, not friendly at all to Israel, that may be simply not showing or telling the full story,” he said. “We could rebut that.”

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. said he encouraged the Biden administration to lay out the conclusions using “pictures, graphs, and charts” so that “the democratic world” could see the “information that led the president to take the position he did.” “I think that that’s forthcoming,” he added.

Hamas blamed an Israeli strike for the blast. Some progressives — including Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. — in the U.S. also blamed Israel and reiterated calls for a ceasefire.

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A National Security Council spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

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Morgan’s view

It’s not inconceivable that the Biden administration would declassify and release intelligence about the explosion in Gaza. The administration has employed a similar strategy in the war in Ukraine in order to disrupt Russian military plans, and to expose other countries that may be supporting the Russians.

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