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Israel says Palestinian family of 8 was killed by failed rocket, not airstrike

Israeli military officials say a mysterious explosion that killed eight members of a Palestinian family on the first day of the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, says the rocket was launched in Gaza and fell inside Gaza and killed “almost an entire family.” Conricus adds that “this wasn’t an Israeli attack.”

Palestinian mourners gather around bodies of members of the Abu Hatab and al-Hadidi families during a funeral procession in Gaza city, on May 15, 2021 (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

A senior military officer says the incident was investigated, and Israel did not strike the Beit Hanoun area where the family members were killed that night.

The officer says a total of 700 rockets — roughly one-fifth of the total launched by Palestinian militants — failed to reach Israel and landed inside Gaza. He provides no further estimates on how many Palestinians have been harmed by errant rocket fire. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing guidelines.

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