Misfired Islamic Jihad rocket kills 4 children in Gaza

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip claimed that an IDF strike killed several children Saturday night, but no Israeli attacks were carried out in the area at that time, the IDF clarified. 

By Aryeh Savir, TPS and World Israel News Staff

A rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad terror organization toward Israel on Saturday night misfired and exploded inside the Gaza Strip, killing innocent civilians, including at least four children.

Following claims in the Gaza Strip that an IDF strike killed several children, the IDF stated that at 20:40, a rocket barrage from Gaza was launched toward Israel.

At the same time, social media reports from Gaza claimed that “children were massacred” at the Imad Akel mosque in the city of Jabaliya, and at least five children were killed, and 15 were injured.

After clarification with the IDF’s fire center and the brigade command, the IDF stated that no Israeli attacks were carried out in the area during this time frame. Furthermore, the IDF’s detection systems recorded the failed launch.

Israel’s Public Diplomacy Directorate issued the following statement:

“Contrary to Palestinian reports regarding the incident in Jabalya, it must be clarified: We have in our possession videos that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this incident was not the result of an Israel Defense Forces’ strike. Israeli security forces did not strike in Jabalya in the past few hours.

“It has been irrefutably proven that this incident was the result of the misfiring of a rocket launched by Islamic Jihad.”

Following reports in Palestinian and international media, an investigation took place that unequivocally showed it was not an Israeli strike that killed the children, but rather a rocket launched from within the Gaza Strip that fell in the heart of Jabalya. 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.

Islamic Jihad terrorists fired about 400 rockets at Israeli cities across southern Israel and as far north as Tel Aviv over the weekend, sending millions of Israelis running for shelter.

The terror organization launched its onslaught on Israeli civilian targets on Friday after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted a preemptive strike, Operation Breaking Dawn, against senior Islamic Jihad terror commanders and terror cells who had been planning an attack against Israeli targets in recent days.

“Due to the imminent threat of attack against Israeli civilians posed by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza, we began Operation ‘Breaking Dawn’ earlier today,” the IDF stated Friday.

The majority of the rockets fired at Israel, about 95%, were intercepted by the Iron dome defense batteries deployed across Israel. However, a home in Sderot was directly hit by a rocket, but the inhabitants were unharmed as they succeeded in running to shelter before the impact. In the city of Ashkelon, several cars were damaged by a rocket.

Dozens of Israeli were treated by emergency medical teams for light injuries incurred while running for shelter and for shock.

A high number of rockets, at least 15%, fell inside the Gaza Strip.