Palestinian rocket may have killed family of BBC journalist, says UN report

By Sandy Rashty, March 12, 2013

A United Nations report yesterday announced that a misfired Palestinian rocket may have killed family members of a BBC journalist during the Israel-Gaza conflict last November.

The Associated Press photograph of BBC video editor Jehad Mashhrawi holding the dead body of his son Omar was internationally circulated and used by activists to attack the Israeli army for conducting air strikes during the Pillar of Defence operation.

Family of the child and his aunt and uncle who were also killed in the Gaza City raid, blamed Israel for the deaths.

However, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the house could have been hit by a Palestinian rocket. They also said the damage was inconsistent with an Israeli air strike. The conclusions came after the OHCHR group visited the home in Gaza City four weeks after the incident.

According to a report on the BBC, Mr Mashhrawi has dismissed the conclusions as “rubbish”. He reportedly added that Palestinian militant groups tend to apologise to the family if they are responsible for deaths.

Nearly 170 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during the November conflict last year.

Last updated: 9:52am, March 12 2013