Israel Says Islamic Jihad to Blame for Death of Four Gaza Children

By Zalman Ahnsaf

YERUSHALAYIM – In a bid to head off false accusations against the IDF, Israel issued a statement Sunday evening saying that the “the tragic death of at least four Gazan children was the result of an Islamic Jihad rocket that fell short and landed in Gaza.”

The statement, from the International Spokeswoman for Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Keren Hajioff, noted that “there is video documenting” the incident, and that “there was no Israeli activity in the Gaza Strip, in that area or at that time.”

She added: “Islamic Jihad is killing Palestinian children in Gaza. One in four rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel – lands inside the Gaza Strip.

“The world should be outraged at this terrorist group targeting innocent Israelis and killing innocent Gazans,” said the statement.

The rocket landed in the al-Fallujah neighborhood of Jabaliya.

Palestinian media blamed Israel for the deaths.

The Gaza health ministry claimed that 31 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes. But Israel said that at least nine of the deaths in Gaza have been the result of failed rocket launches by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Also on Sunday, 3 mortar bombs fired from the Gaza Strip hit the “Erez” Crossing, managed by the Israel Ministry of Defense. The terminal roof was damaged as a result of the fire, and shrapnel fell into the entrance hall, an area that is used to facilitate the daily passage of thousands of Gazans that work in Israel. The “Erez” Crossing is currently closed due to Operation “Breaking Dawn.” thus preventing further damage, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

Regarding the deadly strike on senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Khaled Mansour, the IDF said that it had delayed the action several times after identifying children in the area.

“Later, when the kids were no longer in the area, the attack was successfully carried out,” the military said.

The IDF released a video in which officers can be heard identifying kids playing around the house where Mansour was staying.

“I see kids running in the trees over there,” a pilot can be heard saying.

According to the military, the strike was delayed two more times, due to the presence of children, footage of which was included in the video.

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