VIDEO - An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.
"The attack on the structure in the Qana village took place between midnight and one in the morning. The gap between the timing of the collapse of the building and the time of the strike on it is unclear," Brigadier General Amir Eshel, Head of the Air Force Headquarters told journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, following the incidents at Qana.
Eshel and the head of the IDF's Operational Branch, Major General Gadi Eisnkot said the structure was not being attacked when it collapsed, at around 8:00 in the morning.
The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.
Another possibility is that the rickety building remained standing for a few hours, but eventually collapsed. "It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there, Brigadier General Eshel said.
Rescue operations in Qana (Photo: Reuters)
"I'm saying this very carefully, because at this time I don't have a clue as to what the explanation could be for this gap," he added.
Meanwhile in Lebanon it is being reported that the number of those killed in the collapse of the structure climbed to 60.
All targets struck accurately
Eshel said that an additional attack took place at 7:30 in the morning, but added that other buildings were targeted. "This was an attack on three buildings 460 meters away from the structure we are talking about. Four bombs were dropped and all of them are documented by the planes' cameras. They all struck their targets. In addition, we carried out a filming sortie that photographed the village during the afternoon showing that the three targeted buildings we struck. We have verification of strikes on the building and that the bombs reached their targets," Eshel said.
"An attack that took place at two in the morning struck two targets, both of them 400 meters away from the building (that collapsed). They were also destroyed. The attack between 12 and 1 a.m. struck the area of the affected house, and there were accurate strikes on the target. We are asking the question – what happened between 1 in the morning and 8 in the morning… we understand this building was attacked between 12 and 1 in the morning, seven hours before it was seriously damaged," he said.
Brigadier General Eshel explained that "since the start of fighting in Lebanon 150 rockets from a very high number of rocket launchers have been fired from the village and its surrounding areas, at a number of sites in the State of Israel. Within the village itself we have located a diverse range of activities connected to firing of rockets, beginning from forces commanding this operation – because such an operation needs ongoing command to direct it – and logistical sites that serve this end."
"From this village rockets are fired almost every day across Israel. The operation carried out overnight is an extension of operations that didn't start last night but before, and during this night we struck a number of targets in the village. All of the targets are being meticulously sifted," Eshel added.