A two-year-old girl was killed by an explosion south of Gaza City Tuesday evening, and while Hamas officials told news agencies the cause of death was “unclear,” IDF officials said she was killed by a failed Hamas rocket launch.
Adham Abu Selmeyya, a medical services spokesperson in Gaza, said that Hadeel Haddad was killed and her brother was moderately wounded in the explosion, which occurred in the Zaitoun neighborhood.
Initial Palestinian reports blamed Israel for the incident, claiming the air force had bombed the area.
On Wednesday morning Palestinian news agency Maan reported the cause of the explosion was unclear, but the IDF denied there had been any military fire on the location where the child died. The spokesman said the army’s initial investigation pointed to a failed rocket launch by Hamas as the cause of the explosion.
Tensions have escalated in the south of Israel since Monday morning, when an attack carried out from Sinai resulted in the death of an Israeli citizen. Two terrorists were killed by soldiers in the shooting that ensued.
Over 50 rockets have hit Israel since then, including a Grad missile that landed in the southern outskirts of Beersheba. An additional rocket severely injured a border policeman in the Hof Ashkelon region. Hamas claimed responsibility for the firing of rockets.
The air force struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip several times in response to the rocket attacks. Six members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad were killed while trying to carry out attacks against Israel.