More than a dozen may have been killed in Gaza fighting as rockets failed

Nearly a third of the Palestinians killed in the recent outbreak of violence between Israeli and Gaza terrorists may have been killed by errant rockets fired by the Palestinian side, according to the Israeli military’s assessment.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 49 Palestinians have been killed in three days of heavy fighting. The Israeli military said at least 14 of them were killed by rockets detonated by the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

No one in Gaza with first-hand knowledge of the blast in question has dared to speak publicly about it. However, live television footage showed terrorist rockets inadequate in a dense residential area. The Associated Press also visited the sites of two explosions that killed a total of 12 people, supporting suspicions that they were caused by rockets that went off course.

Israel claims victory in the clash, partly because it killed two senior Islamic Jihad commanders and no Israelis were killed or seriously injured. If Islamic Jihad were found to have harmed some of the people it claimed to protect, it would be even more humiliating for the terrorist group and its main sponsor, Iran.

Israel said it targeted only terrorists and made every effort to save civilians.

The violence began on August 5 when Israel launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic Jihad, which the military described as an imminent threat to Israelis living near the Gaza frontier. By the time the ceasefire took effect late on August 7, Islamic Jihad had fired hundreds of rockets into Israel and Israeli aircraft had hit dozens of terrorist targets.

The Israeli military said the terrorists fired about 1,100 rockets and about 200 landed inside the Palestinian enclave.

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A rocket will be launched from Gaza to Israel over Gaza City on August 7, 2022. (Adel Hana/AP Photo)

Islamic Jihad said 12 fighters were killed, a smaller armed group said it had lost one fighter, and the ruling Hamas terrorist group said two Hamas-affiliated police officers who had not taken part in the fighting were killed. said to have died. Israel said it had killed at least 20 terrorists and his seven civilians.

Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad responded to Israel’s claims that civilians had been killed by rocket detonations. Instead, they held Israel responsible for all the deaths.

Gaza-based human rights groups investigating the strike also refused to address the allegations. But their initial findings indicate that at least some of the explosions were suspicious.

Al-Mezan human rights groups said some civilians were killed by “projectiles” rather than by Israeli airstrikes. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has confirmed 27 deaths in Israeli strikes so far, which it said was far below the total number of casualties.

PCHR director Raji Sourani said the group has only issued statements on unambiguous cases and said it would take more time to investigate other cases due to “conflicting claims”. . He didn’t elaborate.

“We need eyewitnesses, debris, video, evidence,” he said. “Investigation required.”

Allegations focus on three explosions that killed at least 15 civilians.

On the night of August 6, an explosion in the crowded Jebaliyah refugee camp in northern Gaza killed seven Palestinians. The Israeli military said it was not conducting operations in the area at the time. It released video footage that allegedly showed a barrage of terrorist rockets, but one was missing.

Islamic Jihad announced a rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, just north of Jebaliyah, almost simultaneously with the explosion.

Video footage of the aftermath circulated online showing what appeared to be a rocket casing sticking out of the ground in a narrow, busy street. was filled with soil. Palestinians are usually keen to show evidence of Israeli airstrikes to the international media.

Al-Mezan believed the explosion was caused by a “projectile” and said the PCHR was still investigating.

On the night of August 7, five Palestinians aged between 4 and 17 died in an explosion at a cemetery in Jebaliyah. This was around the same time that Islamic Jihad announced the launch of rockets. The Israeli military said it was investigating.

AP visited both Jebaliyah sites and found no obvious signs of Israeli airstrikes, such as a wide crater left by an F-16 or a narrow hole left by a drone strike.

A third suspicious explosion killed an off-duty Hamas-affiliated police officer along with three young children on August 7 in Bleij refugee camp in central Gaza. Hamas, the much more powerful terrorist group that waged his four wars with Israel, has stayed away from recent fighting and Israel does not appear to be targeting it.

Al-Mezan and PCHR said they were still investigating the episode.

Associated Press