Israeli Occupation officials have confirmed on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022, that Israel was responsible for the deaths of five minors killed on the last day of the recent attack over Gaza this month.
An army inquiry into the incident, which occurred on August 7 in the Al-Faluja Cemetery east of Jabalya, has concluded that the minors were killed by an Israeli airstrike, several military sources have confirmed.
Immediately after their deaths, several senior officers jumped to say that the five were most likely killed by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.
After a similar incident in the Jabalya refugee camp the day before that killed eight civilians, including children, an army inquiry concluded that this was in fact caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket. The Palestinians had claimed the eight were killed by Israel, but the army quickly released evidence indicating that they were actually killed by Islamic Jihad.
“We didn’t conduct any strikes in that area, not in urban areas and not at that time,” Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Ran Kochav said shortly after the incident in the refugee camp. The head of the army’s Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Bassuk, similarly said that “based on intelligence assessments, it can be concluded that this was a self-inflicted injury. We could see the rocket hit a Palestinian home.”
The next day, the IDF released what it said was evidence of the misfired rocket. The footage showed several rockets being launched, and one, circled in red, falling downward. The army claimed that this rocket had exploded inside Gaza.
But in the cemetery incident, despite their off-the-record assessments, senior IDF officers never commented publicly about who was responsible.
The five victims were Jamil al-Din Nijm, 3; Jamil Ihab Nijm, 13; Mohammad Nijm, 16; Hamed Nijm, 16; and Nathmi Karsh, 15. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, three of them had participated in a support program for trauma victims in Gaza.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that during the three days of fighting, dubbed Operation Breaking Dawn, the army was working to defend the country’s security, and therefore “attacked Islamic Jihad military targets in the Gaza Strip. During its operations, the IDF made every reasonable effort to minimize, insofar as possible, harm to civilians and civilian property.”
The army investigates all its actions during the operation, the statement continued, and the cemetery incident is still being investigated.