Woman and Child Killed in Gaza Were Hit by Misfired Hamas Rocket, Not Israel: IDF
by Benjamin Kerstein
The Israeli army stated on Sunday that a mother and child killed in Gaza over the weekend did not die as a result of Israeli fire, as Palestinian sources have claimed.
Gaza’s Hamas-controlled health ministry claimed that Falestine Abu Arar, 37, and her one-and-a-half-year-old niece Saba were killed in an Israeli strike on the coastal enclave.
According to Israeli news site Walla, the head of the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, Ronen Manelis, rejected this claim.
“I officially state that they were killed by the actions of Hamas weapons,” he said.
Another Israeli military spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, told journalists later that based on intelligence “we are now confident” that the deaths were not due to an Israeli strike, France 24 reported.
“Their unfortunate death was not a result of (Israeli) weaponry but a Hamas rocket that was fired and exploded not where it was supposed to,” he said.
Top Hamas official Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook said, “The Zionist enemy wounds women and children, and civilian targets.”
Marzook charged that Israel “is committing war crimes, while the Palestinian resistance does not harm civilian targets.”
All of Hamas’ recent rocket attacks have, in fact, been launched at civilian targets. Three Israeli civilians have been killed so far as a result.
Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman, said of the deaths in Gaza, “Hamas is trying to harm Israelis and Palestinians. … The child is proof of this.”
Israel’s military said more than 600 rockets, many of them intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile system, have been fired at southern Israeli cities and villages since Friday, and it struck some 220 targets belonging to Gaza terrorist groups.
The latest round of violence began two days ago when an Islamic Jihad sniper fired at Israeli troops, wounding two soldiers, according to the Israeli military.