Did the IDF launch the attack that allegedly destroyed the Gaza Baptist Hospital and killed over 500 Palestinians?
resolved Oct 22

This market will resolve once there is a definitive story in multiple international news organizations as to whether an IDF operation, a botched Hamas missile launch, or some other party was responsible for the destruction of the Gaza Baptist Hospital, AKA the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital. The duration of the market will be extended if necessary. Feel free to post non-state news sources in the comments, but please actually read and vet them to the best of your ability first. This market will not resolve N/A.

This is a rare opportunity to actually gage our collective ability to parse propaganda and news.


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predicted YES


GeoConfirmed ISR-PAL - Hospital Bombing Based on the geolocation of new footage its highly likely that: The missile -Al Jazeera footage- is an interceptor. (Iron Dome) The explosion in the air is too far away to be related to the hospital explosion.

The official Israeli version is false. Does that mean it was an Israeli missile? No. But it does mean that it was a mistake to resolve this market.

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 I am still following the story, but in order to consider asking mods to unresolve this market there would need to be dramatic reversals in the international press. Fortunately, this has eventually happened with past revelations, but it would likely take a lot of time.

predicted NO

Multiple international news orgs made non-editorial statements with a consensus that this was a misfired rocket. The point that western liberal democracies still lie and perform propaganda is not lost on me, but this is the resolution standard I set out in the description. Combined with the earlier ambiguity caused by the scale and destruction of the actual explosion, this is a No despite my own remaining misgivings about some of the details. If some months down the road we discover that as with some other IDF incidents, this was actually them after all, then it will be an indictment of a number of things, including I suppose my prediction market phrasing.

predicted NO

How about a "did any of the big markets get this thing wrong market?"

Or just a longer-term version of this one tracking responsibility in a more stringent way - though, I fear there won't be much additional information coming out as the news cycle moves on (unless intel services release some more stuff).

@Panfilo I believe this is far too early to be calling.

predicted NO

Okay, after some more video review - this has turned out to be a bit messier than I thought - this is what is think happened and why I believe this question will be resolved NO (and probably should be since the expert consensus on this is Israel didn't do it, it was a failed rocket). I think for major trustworthy english media outlets we have AP, CNN, and the Economist stating that it was most likely a rocket so far + the WSJ just put out a video saying the same.

The multiple blasts had always confused me (see my edited comments below) - but tbh I did not feel like spending more time on this as I deemed the evidence from the impact site conclusive. But since it's the weekend and I'm free, I thought why not return to this. I am confident that the course of events I detail below is a close reconstruction of what happened on 10-17-2023.

There's a lot of unrelated footage floating around - all recorded during that same fateful night. What I can piece together from that:

We see a launch begin at 18:59:03. These are PIJ rockets, they claim them at 19:09:00). I would venture on them being some foreign-procured 122 mm rocket or one of their in house Grad rocket variants. The rockets are aimed at either Sderot (very likely) or Kiryat Gat (rather unlikely). We can see them leave their boost phase and become invisible in the night sky as they continue towards Israel. The first rocket is launched at 18:59:03 - the last rocket at 18:59:16 - a 13 second barrage.

Now multiple (unrelated) things happen -

1) there is some kind of explosion in Gaza (not at the Hospital) at 18:58:30. This might be an Israeli strike or something else. In any case it's not at/near the hospital, so it can be disregarded. The Israeli aircraft deploying flares in response to the rocket barrage (18:59:07) can also be disregarded.

2) one of the rockets in intercepted by a Tamir missile of the Iron Dome (18:59:38). Launch timing of that missile (18:59:23) doesn't make me believe that this is the cause of the hospital parking lot explosion. This interceptor is targeting one of the earlier rockets. This also explains what's going on regarding the Doppler effect theory. We could look at this in more depth by modelling rocket speed and estimating the location for each of barrage members at that time. Might be worthwhile for some OSINT Lab.

3) one of the later rockets from this barrage fails and falls impacting the hospital parking lot with a minor war head (as one would find on such rockets) and lots of leftover fuel (18:59:43). This explanation is most consistent with the damage seen at the impact location. We have enough convincing impact site analysis to rule out other options and to find that the damage pattern is most consistent with a failed rocket.

4) at 18:59:50 Hamas fires a barrage of rockets.

5) an Israeli aircraft strikes the launch site at 19:59:10. Seconds before there is another rocket barrage starting at 19:59:05 and concluding at 19:59:10.

predicted NO

Here are the media links:

AP visual analysis: Rocket from Gaza appeared to go astray, likely caused deadly hospital explosion

WSJ: Video Analysis Shows Gaza Hospital Hit By Failed Rocket Meant for Israel

The Economist explains: What evidence reveals about the Gaza hospital blast’s source - The damage points to a malfunctioning rocket, not an air strike

CNN Investigates: Forensic analysis of images and videos suggests rocket caused Gaza hospital blast, not Israeli airstrike

@sarius Yup, by the standards I set out, this resolves No.

predicted YES

AP is calling it for PIJ-at-fault. AJ obviously called it the other way but I figured folks wouldn’t consider that a big deal. Regardless, if a few more dominos fall it’ll be a No resolution earlier than I expected. https://x.com/ap/status/1715592306420486194?s=46&t=ysuToRHdvIMAo_KadMtpHA

@Panfilo Since there may not be "definitive" evidence, rather just quite compelling evidence, do you just mean that it needs to be definitive that there is a consensus on the matter among international news organizations? It seems like we are rapidly arriving at that point, but I'm not certain this market will resolve on it because we do not (and may never) have proof.

Since you said this:

This is a rare opportunity to actually gage our collective ability to parse propaganda and news.

I'd like to think you're happy to resolve on a consensus that falls short of proof (and I think prediction markets have done a pretty great job at this so far on this and related questions).

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington How long has it been since definitive proof came that the August 29, 2021 bombing in Afghanistan had hit a civilian family?

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 I don't know anything about such an incident, and can't tell what point you're making by raising it. Consider spelling it out for me, if you think it's worth either of our time.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington Less than a week is not enough, much less in such a situation.

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 You're going to have to tell me more about the incident in question if you want me to appreciate its relevance.

As for the explosion at the hospital, the consensus is rapidly becoming overwhelming - they know which rocket it was, where it lost control and turned around, there's footage of it, an intercepted phone call of Hamas saying it came from the PIJ, honestly this is a done deal, you could barely want any more. If you still disagree, just place a bet on one of the remaining open markets on the matter:

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington And considering that the audio has been proven to be a fake (so much so that we are talking about a graveyard that does not exist), or at least modified so that it cannot be verified, and that the famous video of the rocket exploding in the sky is not related to the hospital explosion (so much so that it was changed from "intercepted rocket" to "exploded rocket" to "malfunctioning rocket" to explain the flare-up on the ground with the remaining fuel), I would say that it clearly shows that there is no certainty. And considering that it has been 5 days and not 5 years, there was no reason to resolve. It took the U.S. a month to admit that it had bombed civilians, how can we expect to resolve this in a week?

This is a matter of trust, not betting on other markets. If a market asks for X you cannot change to 90% X.

EDIT: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/17/us/politics/pentagon-drone-strike-afghanistan.html

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 Very few agree with your interpretation of the evidence regarding the audio or video.

True certainty is impossible and everything is a judgement call, that's how it is and should be, and this market has resolved on a standard of evidence satisfactory to the creator. We should all move on.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington This is not my interpretation, but the BBC's. But maybe the BBC is not enough?

The market is clearly asking whether event X has happened, not whether it is above a 50 percent probability that event X has happened according to the information you have as of October 22, 2023. Lack of confidence turns this into a game of chance.

predicted YES
predicted NO

@Emanuele98 All that article says is "It is not possible to independently verify this recording", that's a far cry from it being proven to be a fake as you claimed.

And it was published two days ago.

You will find plenty of people disagreeing, but that doesn't mean a consensus hasn't been reached.

The Doppler stuff has been discussed to death and is not inconsistent with the consensus view - it looks like the rocket did turn around before hitting the carpark, so that explains why it looks like it was coming from the opposite direction. It was an out of control rocket, after all.

(there are also many other trajectories consistent with the Doppler data, which strictly speaking can only tell you about one component of the acceleration, and not about the actual direction an object is travelling)

Channel 4's quoted analysis of the phone recording sucks IMHO. There are many types of phone call where the two channels could be obtained separately, and I haven't seen anyone else backing up that claim of it being faked.

There will always be folks to disagree, like Channel 4 it seems (as of two days ago), but that doesn't mean there isn't a strong consensus. More media and intelligence orgs are coming out by the hour and saying it was a PIJ rocket, and presumably many have access to other data as well. We don't need to know what that data is to be able to say there appears to be a strong and growing consensus.

Bedtime for me, someone else may continue arguing with you if you reply further though, have fun.

predicted NO

"Lack of confidence turns this into a game of chance." - no, lack of information does. From the currently available and verifiable datapoints "multiple international news organizations" (as per the resolution criteria) have provided editorial assessments they ascribe high, i.e. publishable confidence to. Their assessment is 'Hospital Hit By Failed Rocket.'

Due to lack of information there will always be a base level of uncertainty - I for example like many others too would love to see some rocket/munition debris. Sadly all I ever found was a blurry shot of a likely rocket fragment at night - by sunrise the scene had been cleaned up. This doesn't stop me from concluding with high credence that the most likely outcome is in fact the likeliest account of what happened and that any evidence that would have made me change my mind in an instant would have already been released by now.

Very much agree on one point, though. The IDF have lied before - they may have lied about this conversation as well. Also 90% of the initial media response to this was terrible. The IDF conversation like many media claims are not verifiable claims (at least not for someone in my position), which is why I never paid much attention to them in my assessments beyond "oh this corresponds to the most likely, verifiable story."

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington No, the BBC says there is no graveyard (unlike what is said in the audio) and Channel 4 says the audio was heavily digitally edited, making it impossible to verify. Yet you used it to try to prove that it is certain that it was a Palestinian rocket. And I would say that if we've gone so far as to say that the rocket turned 180 degrees before it hit the hospital, when the impact itself was used to prove that it came from the southwest it shows that there is no certainty of what happened, so much so that the result of the analysis changes every day. Which is obvious, it hasn't even been a week.

The deadline simply needed to be extended.

predicted YES

@sarius But in fact I said that the deadline should be extended, not that it should be solved differently. To give an example, if the question had been "Who will be the first man on Mars?" it cannot be solved with option X just because as of today the most likely nation to reach Mars will be X.

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 To keep it within your analogy: Let's assume we see a member of group X launch towards Jupiter - there is a track record of those from group X who launch to Jupiter making it to Mars by accident. We see someone land on Mars and look at their footprints. They look a lot like footprints of other confirmed members from Group X we saw land on Jupiter recently and whose footprints we have seen land and confirmed many times on Mars before as well.

Are we justified in inferring with a high level of certainty that one of those members of group X who launched toward Jupiter landed on Mars instead - given that the footprints of members from the only other possible group Y and the way in which they launch to leave them have and still do look very differently from the footprints and launch methods of group X?

predicted NO

@Emanuele98 We can reresolve this market if it is revealed later that it was an IDF strike.

predicted YES

@MartinRandall Of course, even if you solved it after an hour you could "re-solve" it. The problem is that it really didn't need to be solved. Otherwise, patience, I would say it is the only viable solution at the moment.

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