IDF Responds to Report That Israeli Strike Killed Five Children in Gaza

A ball of fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, on August 5. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The IDF issued a statement on Tuesday responding to a report stating that an Israeli strike killed five children in Gaza on the final day of the latest conflict with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

According to Haaretz, citing “several defense sources,” an IDF probe into the incident – which occurred on Aug. 7 in the al-Faluja Cemetery east of Jabalya, north of Gaza City – concluded that the minors died in an Israeli airstrike.

In response, the IDF said that Operation Breaking Dawn was conducted in order to defend Israeli civilians and target “Islamic Jihad military infrastructure” in Gaza.

“During the Operation, the IDF made every feasible effort to minimize, as much as possible, harm to civilians and civilian property,” the statement continued.

Immediately after the minors’ deaths, Haaretz reported that several Israeli officers said they were most likely killed by a misfired PIJ rocket.

The incident came a day after a rocket landed in the Jabalia refugee camp, killing eight civilians, including children. Palestinians claimed the eight were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

However, the IDF released what it considered evidence that they were actually killed by PIJ. The footage showed several rockets being launched, and one falling downward, exploding in Gaza, Israeli officials said.

“We didn’t conduct any strikes in that area, not in urban areas and not at that time,” IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Ran Kochav said shortly after the incident.

In its statement responding to the Haaretz report, the IDF said it was “reviewing and examining its activity during the operation and the outcomes of its activity.”

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