Gaza Terror Group Misfires; Rocket lands on Palestinian house

A rocket launched into the Gaza Strip by Palestinian terrorists on Saturday failed to miss its target in Israel and hit a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip, killing several children, Israeli military officials said.

Palestinian media blamed Israel for the attack at a mosque in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, which killed a total of seven people, including four children.

But Israel Defense Forces officials said no attack had been carried out in that area, adding that the military’s missile detection system clearly showed that the missile was launched only to fail and eventually exploded in the refugee camp.

“On our radar we see the launch and impact and we can see that they failed and hit themselves,” a spokesperson said.

A second official said: “We have videos that prove conclusively that this is not an Israeli attack. It has been unequivocally proven that it was a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Israel’s Channel 12 broadcast a video showing the failed missile launch.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s spokesman Keren Hajioff said the “world should be outraged by this terrorist group that targets innocent Israelis and kills innocent Gazans.”

“Islamic Jihad kills Palestinian children in Gaza. One in four rockets fired at Israel from Gaza lands in the Gaza Strip,” she noted. “Iran’s proxies – including PIJ – have a long history of hiding behind civilians to attack Israeli civilians.”

“Israel will continue to oppose this vicious terrorist organization — which threatens both Israelis and Palestinians,” Hajioff said.

Public diplomacy official Elad Tene said the incident constituted a “double war crime” by Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] terrorist organization. “It shoots civilians and uses civilians from Gaza as human shields.

“This incident is an example of Islamic Jihad harming the residents of Gaza. All harm to innocent civilians is tragic.”

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 350 rockets at Israel in 24 hours. About 100 of those have failed and have fallen within the Strip, the IDF said. The Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted 95 percent of the 170 missiles fired at civilian population centers. Rocket sirens blared in several Israeli cities on Saturday, including Tel Aviv, forcing Israelis to run to air raid shelters.

The flare-up began after the arrest of Bassam al-Sa’adi, the leader of the PIJ in the West Bank, who sought to avenge the terror group by attacking Israeli targets around the border with Gaza.

The Israeli Air Force has carried out numerous strikes in Gaza targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group as part of Operation Breaking Dawn launched Friday to address what Israeli leaders say was an immediate and concrete threat posed by the PIJ to Israeli communities.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the goal of the latest campaign, called Operation Breaking Dawn, was “the elimination of a concrete threat”.

“Israel will continue to act without hesitation to ensure the peace of its citizens,” he said at a cabinet meeting on Saturday night.

Earlier in the evening, Israeli media said the IDF had killed Khalid Mansour, the head of the PIJ’s military wing in the southern Strip.

A day earlier, Israel assassinated senior PIJ commander Tayseer al-Jabari, the mastermind behind hundreds of rocket attacks during last year’s 11-day war in May.

Major General Oded Basyuk, Chief of the Operations Directorate of the Israel Defense Forces, told reporters on Saturday that “all top Islamic Jihad officials in the [Gaza] Strip have been murdered.”

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