Five Palestinian minors who died in Israel’s recent operation in Gaza were killed in an airstrike carried out by the Israeli Air Force, an IDF investigation has reportedly found.
The incident took place in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza on August 7, the last day of the military campaign in the Palestinian enclave, dubbed Operation Breaking Dawn, the Haaretz daily reported Tuesday, citing the IDF probe.
The operation saw the Israeli military attack Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, including killing two of its senior commanders.
Citing security officials acquainted with the issue, Haaretz reported that the IAF had struck targets near a cemetery to the east of Jabaliya that day, hours before the ceasefire between Israel and the terror group took effect.
The report suggested that the IDF initially thought the children were killed by a failed rocket launch by the PIJ, as was the case in an incident a day earlier.
However, the probe reportedly found that no PIJ rockets were launched from the area at the time but that Israeli fighter jets did carry out an attack in the area.
Illustrative photo of an Israeli F-15 Eagle fighter jet (Edi Israel/Flash90/File)
The Israeli strike reportedly led to the deaths of five Palestinian children: Jamil a-Din Nijam, 3; Jamil Ehab Nijam, 13; Nazmi Qarsh, 15; and Muhamad and Hamed Nijam, both 16.
On the previous day, August 6, a rocket hit a Palestinian home in the Jabaliya refugee camp, killing at least seven civilians, including four children. Palestinian media initially blamed Israel for the strike, a narrative that was quickly adopted by many international news outlets.
The Israeli military quickly said it had video and radar evidence that proved the blast was caused by a failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch. It also issued a video showing a barrage of rockets launched from the coastal enclave at Israel, with one falling short.
Responding to Tuesday’s report in Haaretz, the IDF said it had “attacked military targets belonging to the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. As part of its activity, the IDF took all reasonable efforts to reduce, as much as possible, any harm to civilians and their property.
“The IDF is examining and investigating its actions during [Operation Breaking Dawn] and its results. The incident’s circumstances are being investigated,” the military said.
Last week, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said the death toll from the recent round of fighting in Gaza had risen to 48, after a man and an 11-year-old girl died from wounds sustained during the violence.
In all, more than 300 Palestinians were wounded over three days of fighting when Israel struck Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets across Gaza and the terror group fired more than a thousand rockets at Israel, the worst cross-border violence since an 11-day war with Hamas last year.