A rocket launched by Palestinian terror operatives Saturday misfired and hit a Palestinian home in the Strip’s north, killing several people including children, Israeli military officials said.
Initial reports from Gaza claimed an Israeli strike in the Jabaliya refugee camp had killed seven civilians, including four children. Photos circulating on social media showed seven body bags.
But military officials said the Israel Defense Forces had not conducted any airstrike in the area in recent hours, and that rocket detection systems had shown the rocket launch and then explode inside the refugee camp.
“On our radar, we see the launch and impact and can see it was them failing and hitting themselves,” a spokesman said.
A second official added: “We have videos that prove beyond any doubt that this is not an Israeli attack. It has been unequivocally proven that it was a failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch.”
On Sunday morning, the IDF published a video showing what it said showed the failed rocket launch.
The video showed a barrage of rockets launched from the coastal enclave at Israel, and one which falls short.
This is radar tracking of the barrage of rockets fired by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza last night.
This shows the site where the rocket landed—a place where Palestinian civilians, including children, were killed by a misfired rocket. pic.twitter.com/asBh1Whyht
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 7, 2022
Israeli media outlets initially aired a video shared on social media that it said appeared to show the failed launch, citing the time and location it was taken. But it did not match up with the video published by the IDF.
The Head of the Prime Minister’s Office’s Public Diplomacy Directorate Elad Tene added: “All fire by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is a double war crime: it is shooting at civilians, and using Gazan civilians as human shields.
“This incident is an example of Islamic Jihad harming the residents of Gaza. All harm to innocent civilians is tragic.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s international spokesperson, Keren Hajioff, released a video statement, saying: “Tonight, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired a rocket towards Israel which fell short inside Gaza, hitting a Palestinian home in the Jabaliya neighborhood and tragically killing at least four children. There is video documenting the entire thing. There was no Israeli activity in the Gaza Strip, in that area or at that time.
Tonight, Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket towards Israeli children, but ended up killing Gazan children instead.
This is the truth about what happened ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/sLVLWlU0tS
— Keren Hajioff (@kerenhajioff) August 6, 2022
“Islamic Jihad is killing Palestinian children in Gaza. One in four rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel – lands inside the Gaza Strip,” she added. “The world should be outraged at this terrorist group targeting innocent Israelis and killing innocent Gazans. Israel will continue to stand up to this vicious terrorist organization – which threatens Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
Palestinian terrorists have launched over 580 rockets at Israel since Friday as part of a flareup between the sides. According to the IDF, some 120 rockets have fallen short in the Gaza Strip since Friday.
The Israeli air force has conducted numerous strikes in Gaza targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group as part of Operation Breaking Dawn launched Friday to tackle what Israeli leaders said was an immediate concrete threat by the PIJ to Israeli communities.
مشاهد من مكان قصف الاحتلال الأخير قرب مسجد عماد عقل في جباليا شمال قطاع غزة حيث ارتقى عدد من الشهداء والجرحى pic.twitter.com/pFPLV1BrR3
— شبكة فلسطين للحوار (@paldf) August 6, 2022
The operation was launched after several days of closures and lockdowns in Israeli communities near the Strip due to the alert of an imminent attack, with the PIJ seeking to avenge the arrest of its West Bank leader earlier in the week.
Israeli leaders said the operation was started because the PIJ had refused to back down from its plans to attack Israeli targets at the border. The Israel Defense Forces killed an Islamic Jihad commander and members of a terror cell that the IDF spokesman said were preparing to “mow down” Israelis near the Gaza border.