The IDF has released video footage to back its claim that the deaths of a Palestinian woman and her four small children last week was not caused directly by Israeli fire.
The video, posted on the internet, was shot by an IDF unmanned aerial vehicle. The IDF says that the film clearly shows a Hamas suspect, who was engaged in combat with IDF soldiers, being targeted and killed by an IDF aerial missile. However, the initial explosion appears to leave unscathed the garden of the Abu Meatak family, where Miyasar and her four small children, aged between 15 months and six, were killed.
“These aerial missiles contain only a small amount of explosives and you can see from the movie that there was an accurate hit and that pedestrians near the terrorist are completely unharmed after the first explosion,” an IDF spokesman told the JC.
The film shows a secondary and separate explosion shortly after the suspect was killed and which the IDF says emanated from grenades and mortar shells that the suspect was carrying with him. The IDF spokesman speculated that the second explosion rammed a heavy metal gate into the Abu Meataks, who were eating breakfast beneath the grape vines near their house. The IDF’s conclusions were released after a detailed enquiry headed by a colonel appointed by the head of the IDF Southern Command, General Yoav Galant.
“The IDF always conducts a high-level comprehensive investigation into incidents when civilians are accidentally killed,” a statement said. “We will continue to pursue terrorists despite this regrettable chain of events and in contrast to Hamas, who target innocent civilians in Sderot and elsewhere including women and children, we will only fire at positively identified terrorists.”
Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, from where terrorists daily fire missiles at Sderot and Ashkelon, has been the focus of the fiercest fighting between the IDF and Hamas in recent years. Egypt is currently trying to broker a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel and although the Israeli government is opposed to any formal agreement with Hamas, it has indicated to the Egyptians that if the Palestinians cease all hostile activity along the Gaza-Israel border, then the IDF will have no reason to launch attacks on Gaza.