Israel admitted responsibility for killing five Palestinian children in an air strike on the Fallujah cemetery in the town of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 7 August, after it had initially claimed they were killed as a result of a missile fired by Islamic Jihad.
“Israeli defence officials have confirmed that Israel was responsible for the deaths of five minors killed on the last day of the recent hostilities with Islamic Jihad this month,” reported Haaretz newspaper today.
“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 defence sources have confirmed,” added the newspaper.
It also reported that “Immediately after their deaths, several senior officers said the five were most likely killed by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.”
On the other hand, the newspaper indicated that an army investigation concluded that another incident, which resulted in the killing of eight Palestinian civilians, including children, that occurred on a day earlier was a result of a “misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.”
The newspaper stated: “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.”
Israeli army spokesman Ran Kochav said: “We didn’t conduct any strikes in that area, not in urban areas and not at that time.”
The five victims in the air strike on the cemetery were identified as Jamil Al-Din Nijm, 3, Jamil Ihab Nijm, 13, Mohammad Salah Nijm, 16, Hamed Haidar Nijm, 16, and Nathmi Abu Karsh, 15.
Over the course of three days from 5-7 August, the Israeli army launched raids on the Gaza Strip, which, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, resulted in the death of 49 people, including 17 children and four women, and 360 injuries.