Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a military-focused think tank in London, agreed. “Based on what I’ve seen so far, I really doubt that this was an airstrike,” he said, adding that the “blast damage seen so far doesn’t fit” with the missiles Israel has been using to strike Gaza over the past week and a half.
Retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO and an NBC News contributor, held a similar opinion. “To my eye, the damage on the ground does not look at all like what you would see from an airstrike or a precision-guided weapon,” he said. “It looks like a projectile with a lot of fuel in it hit a parking lot and created a fireball.”
Former British army Maj. Chris Cobb-Smith, a weapons and munitions expert, said the Israeli case was “pretty thorough and conclusive,” although he cautioned that he would “want to see remnants of the munition recovered from the rubble.”
“As more evidence emerges it appears it may well be an errant Palestinian rocket,” he said. “We should not be blinkered that this may, indeed, be an error on the part of the Palestinian forces.”
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty, a former deputy commander of U.S. European Command and an NBC News military analyst, said the trajectory from the Al Jazeera video showed it had been fired from the ground, rather than the air, but he stopped short of any further conclusions.