close
close

May 28, 2024 – Israel-Hamas War

11:35 p.m. ET, May 28, 2024

US-made munitions used in deadly strike on Rafah tent camp, CNN analysis finds

By CNN’s Allegra Goodwin and Avery Schmitz

US-made munitions were used in a deadly Israeli strike on a camp of displaced Palestinians in Rafah, according to a CNN analysis of video from the scene and a review by explosive weapons experts.

CNN geotagged videos showing burning tents the day after the attack on the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp known as “Kuwait Peace Camp 1.”

In a video shared on social media, which CNN geolocated to the same scene by matching details including the camp entrance sign and tiles on the ground, the tail of a GBU small diameter bomb (SDB) -39 of American manufacture is visible, according to four explosive weapons experts who viewed the video for CNN.

The GBU-39, manufactured by Boeing, is a high-precision munition “designed to attack strategically important point targets” and cause low collateral damage, explosive weapons expert Chris Cobb-Smith told CNN.

However, “using any munition, even of this size, always carries risks in a densely populated area,” said Cobb-Smith, a former British Army artillery officer.

Trevor Ball, a former member of the US Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team who also identified the fragment as coming from a GBU-39, told CNN how he reached his conclusion.

“The warhead portion (of the munition) is distinct, and the guidance and wing section is extremely unique compared to other munitions. Guidance and wing sections of munitions are often leftovers, even after a munitions detonation. I saw the tail actuation section and immediately knew it was one of the SDB/GBU-39 variants. »

CNN’s identification of the munition is consistent with a claim made by Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari during a briefing on the tragedy on Tuesday. Hagari said the strike – which he said targeted senior Hamas commanders – used two munitions with small warheads containing 17 kilos of explosives, adding that the bombs were “the smallest munitions our planes could use.” .

The traditional GBU-39 warhead has an explosive payload of 17 kilos.

Additionally, the serial numbers on the remains match those of a California-based GBU-39 parts manufacturer – further evidence that the bombs were manufactured in the United States.

The Pentagon declined to comment and referred CNN to Israel’s comments on its operations. CNN also contacted the United States National Security Council.