February 26, 2020

Islamic Jihad Confirms Their Rocket Killed Pregnant Palestinian Woman, Baby

A view shows the remains of a building that was destroyed by Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) confirmed to a Hamas-run media outlet May 6 that it was one of their rockets that killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and a 14-month-old baby, not an Israeli rocket.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claimed May 5 that Israeli airstrikes were responsible for killing the woman and the baby the day before; the woman is a relative of the baby but not her mother. IDF spokesperson Ronen Manelis tweeted that their deaths were actually due to a Gaza rocket. According to the Jerusalem Post, Islamic Jihad leaked to al-Risala News that “a rocket of the resistance exploded inside the family’s home due to a technical failure, and prematurely exploded.” The report added that “there is no doubt that the baby’s death has nothing to do with the enemy’s [Israel’s] planes.”

Islamic Jihad also offered to pay the family to keep quiet on the matter, per the Post.

StandWithUs tweeted, “Terrorist group admits that IT WAS THEIR OWN ROCKET FIRE that killed a #Palestinian pregnant woman & baby Where’s the international media coverage now??”

U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer criticized the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and others for blaming Israel for the deaths:

The nearly 700 Hamas and PIJ rockets killed at least four Israeli civilians and injured several others. A tentative ceasefire agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas on May 6.