A Hamas official has admitted to the BBC that a Gaza child killed on Tuesday died as a result of Palestinian rocket fire, and not from an Israeli strike. While this is not the first time Gazans have been killed by misfired Palestinian munitions, the admission, made to BBC Gaza and West Bank Correspondent Jon Donnison, is unusual in its rarity.
Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told the Palestinian Maan news agency in a statement that Hadil al-Haddad, 2, was killed and her brother injured on Tuesday in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.
But despite the Hamas official's admission to the BBC, another Hamas medical official told Reuters on Tuesday that the cause of the child's death was not clear. Witnesses told Maan that al-Haddad was killed when terrorists launched a rocket close by.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said on Tuesday that the Israeli army was not responsible for the toddler's death, but rather, that she was killed by a Palestinian rocket which was fired at Israel and that veered off course and exploded. The IDF said it did not attack the area, and that the child's death was caused by a misfired rocket.
Over 50 rockets have been fired at southern Israel since Monday night. The IDF has struck at least seven targets in Gaza, with Palestinian sources confirming at least six dead.
Despite the BBC's report on al-Haddad's death ,and the IDF's denial of involvement, the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday that, "Witnesses said that an Israeli airplane fired a missile at Al- Haddad's family house at al-Zeitoun neighborhood in southeast Gaza City, but there has been no comment yet from Israel."
For its part, the French AFP news agency reported that "an unexplained explosion in Gaza City killed a two-year-old girl on Tuesday evening, medics said."