Report: Gazan Baby’s Death Blamed on Israel Actually Result of Islamic Jihad Rocket

May 7, 2019

2 min read

The routinely anti-Israel bias reporting was punctuated by reports that a 14-month old baby and her pregnant aunt were killed by IDF strikes but there are reports that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has admitted the deaths were a result of one of their rockets malfunctioning and landing inside Gaza.

Approximately 700 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza by Palestinian Islamic Jihad backed by Iran and Hamas on Saturday and Sunday. Four Israelis were killed by rockets and at least ten others were treated for shrapnel wounds. Dozens more were treated for shell-shock. Israel responded by hitting approximately 320 military targets in Gaza. 29 Gazans were killed in IDF strikes, many of them declared as terrorists by Gazan sources.

On Saturday evening, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported that a 14-month-old Palestinian child, Saba Mahmoud Hamdan Abu Arar, had been killed along with her aunt, Falastin Saleh Abu Arar, when an Israeli airstrike hit their house in Gaza City. The IDF launched an investigation and announced their conclusions that a rocket launched from inside Gaza had caused the deaths.

Despite the IDF explanation, international media placed blame for the deaths on Israel.

“A leak from the heroes of the [Islamic Jihad’s] Sarayat al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades) on the circumstances of the death of the baby Saba Abu ‘Arar indicates that a rocket of the resistance exploded inside the family’s home due to a technical failure, and prematurely exploded,”stated a news item by al-Risala News, a service associated with Hamas. The report was repeated on the Hamas Telegram channel. Both reports were quickly removed. “There is a claim that the technical failure was caused by low-grade explosives in the rocket,” it added. “There is no doubt that the baby’s death has nothing to do with the enemy’s [Israel’s] planes.”

This account was removed soon after publication. TPS news service interviewed a local resident who reported seeing a large crater inside the house after the incident.A source in Gaza told TPS that Islamic Jihad representatives met with the Abu ‘Arar family on Sunday morning and offered them full compensation and a registry of the baby as a “Shahid” entitled to long-term support in exchange for their silence.

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