The Jerusalem Post

Report suggests five Gaza children were killed by IDF, not Islamic Jihad

IDF initially said they were killed by terrorist rocket

- • Jerusalem Post Staff

Five Palestinia­n children from Jabalya were killed by an IAF airstrike during Operation Breaking Dawn and not by a misfired Palestinia­n Islamic Jihad rocket, as the IDF initially claimed, Haaretz reported on Tuesday, citing sources in the Israeli defense establishm­ent.

The children were killed on August 7 – the last day of the three-day conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad – near the Fallujah cemetery outside Jabalya, Shehab News reported at the time.

A military investigat­ion showed that no Islamic Jihad rockets were fired at the time of the incident, but IAF data allegedly showed it struck targets in the area at the time of the incident, Haaretz reported.

“They were shot by an occupation missile while they were visiting the grave of their grandfathe­r,” MK Ahmad Tibi said in response to the report. “This is how ‘self-defense’ looks sometimes.”

Tibi listed the dead children as Jamil Najam, 3; Ihab Najam, 13; Muhammad Najam, 16; Hamed Najam, 16; and Natami Karsh, 15.

The IDF told Israeli media a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket was responsibl­e for the deaths. At the time, the military said a preliminar­y inquiry showed that a rocket misfire also killed three people in Bureij. On Monday, The Jerusalem Post determined that a Hamas operative, Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, was also killed in the incident in Bureij.

On August 6, an Islamic Jihad rocket misfire claimed the lives of at least nine people in Jabalya, including four children. The IDF published a video to support its claims.

“Tonight, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired a rocket toward Israel, which fell short inside Gaza, hitting a Palestinia­n home in the Jabalya neighborho­od and tragically killing at least four children,” Prime Minister’s Office internatio­nal spokeswoma­n Keren Hajioff said in a video published on August 7.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav said the following day that of the 26 civilians who died the previous week, 11 were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and at least 15 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets. This would change to 16 killed by IAF airstrikes and about 10 killed by Islamic Jihad if the Haaretz report is accurate.

Gazan terrorist organizati­ons launched about 1,100 rockets during Operation Breaking Dawn, according to statistics published by the IDF. Almost 200 of them fell short within the Gaza Strip.

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