Israel admits it killed five children in Gaza strike after blaming Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Israel has admitted it killed five children in an airstrike on its final day of a devastating bombing assault on the Gaza Strip, after initially blaming Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants for the deaths.
A military investigation concluded that Israeli missiles were responsible for killing five boys aged between three and 16 on 7 August at the Al-Faluja Cemetery east of Jabalya, Haaretz reported.
Israel had never commented publicly on who was responsible for the deaths in Jabalya but officers had blamed a misfired PIJ rocket, the Israeli news said.
Israel officially held PIJ missiles responsible for civilian deaths in other incidents in Gaza, releasing what it said was evidence backing its claims.
An Israeli military spokesperson's unit said it was still investigating the incident and that it "made every reasonable effort to minimise, insofar as possible, harm to civilians and civilian property".
Forty-nine Palestinians, including 15 children, were killed in Israel's three-day bombardment of the densely-populated besieged enclave.
The five minors killed in the incident were Mohammad Nijm and Hamed Nijm, aged 16, Nathmi Karsh, aged 15, Jamil Ihab Nijm, aged 13, and Jamil al-Din Nijm, aged three.
The Norwegian Refugee Council said that three of the boys had been undergoing trauma therapy prior to their deaths.
Israel killed 67 children in its brutal bombardment of Gaza in May 2021. A total of 86 children were killed by Israel in Gaza and the occupied West Bank that year according to Defence for Children International, making 2021 the deadliest year for children since 2014.