Officials tell Haaretz newspaper that Israel was behind the Aug. 7 attack near the Jabaliya refugee camp, contrary to earlier claims.
Israeli defense officials have confirmed that five Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli attack on a Gaza cemetery in early August, according to a new report, contradicting earlier statements by senior military officials to local media.
Several defense sources told Haaretz newspaper that a military investigation into the August 7 attack identified five children – Jamil Najm al-Din Najm, age 4; Jameel Ihab Najeem, 13; Mohammad Nizam, 17; Hamed Nizam, 17; And 15-year-old Nazmi Abu Karsh was killed in an Israeli airstrike at al-Fallujah cemetery near the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
Following that attack, during a three-day Israeli assault on the besieged enclave between August 6 and August 8, several senior Israeli officials told Haaretz that the deaths may have been caused by an off-course Islamic Jihad rocket.
The military has not publicly claimed responsibility for the deaths and did not respond to an Al Jazeera request for comment on the latest report.
The calm was palpable after the Israeli military separately blamed Islamic Jihad for killing eight people, including children, in the Jabaliya refugee camp a day earlier.
The Israeli military said it did not score any hits during that attack and later released video footage showing several rockets being fired from Gaza, including one that appeared to fall short mid-flight.
Seventeen children were among the 49 Palestinians killed in the three-day attack, which Israel described as a “pre-emptive operation” after arresting the Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank a day earlier.
Speaking to Al Jazeera after the August 7 killing, Hamed Najim’s mother noted that the attack took place hours before the ceasefire took effect.
“Two hours before the declaration of war, he told me he would go out with his cousins for five minutes,” she said. A few moments passed and then we heard a bomb blast. We ran outside to find my son and his three cousins. They were all cut to pieces.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council said the three children killed in the attack were undergoing trauma therapy before their deaths.
According to data compiled by Protection for Children International2,200 minimum Children Killed by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories since 2000 – the start of the second intifada.