Israel army to probe 'unexpected' harm to civilians in Gaza strike

A crater in Deir al-Balah, in the southern Gaza Strip, is seen on Nov 14 following an Israeli air strike.
A crater in Deir al-Balah, in the southern Gaza Strip, is seen on Nov 14 following an Israeli air strike.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel's military said on Friday (Nov 15) it would investigate unanticipated civilian casualties in a strike the previous day on an Islamic Jihad target in the Gaza Strip.

"According to the information available to the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) at the time of the strike, no civilians were expected to be harmed," the army said, after eight members of the same Palestinian family were killed.

"The IDF is investigating the harm caused to civilians by the strike," it said in a statement to AFP.

Israel hit the home of Rasmi Abu Malhous, who it described as an Islamic Jihad commander, early on Thursday before a truce between the sides went into force.

The strike killed him, five children and two women, according to the Palestinian health ministry in the strip, where the Islamist Hamas movement rules.

Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful Palestinian militant group in Gaza after Hamas, said Malhous was "known as a person affiliated with Islamic Jihad but he was not a commander".

An Israeli strike Tuesday killed a top Islamic Jihad commander, Baha Abu al-Ata, and his wife and brought a wave of rocket fire into Israel in response.

Since then, 34 Palestinians have been killed and more than 100 wounded in the Gaza Strip, according to a Palestinian report.

The Israeli army said Islamic Jihad fired more than 450 rockets at Israel. There were no Israeli fatalities.

 

Israel launched fresh strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza early Friday in response to new rocket fire, underscoring the fragility of the truce.