Ten members of the Dalu [Dallo/Dalou] family [including 4 children] were killed today, along with two of their neighbors, by an Israeli airstrike this afternoon in Gaza.
Now, Haaretz has reported at 10:30 tonight that they were not the intended targets.
From the Haaretz Live Blog of the current military operation in Gaza:
10:30 P.M. Earlier reports by the IDF Spokesman to the effect that Israel assassinated the head of Hamas’ rocket-launching unit Yehiya Rabiah today in an aerial bombing in northern Gaza appear to have been inaccurate. Apparently, the IAF mistakenly bombed the home of one of his neighbors, Mohammed a-Dallo, killing 10 members of his family and two of his neighbors. Rabiah seems to have survived the attack. This is posted here.
This is a stunning revelation, delivered in an unusually low-key way.
This was portrayed, earlier, as the second “targetted killing” of the current IDF military operation.
But, the intended target is still alive, and these innocent people are dead.
The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood wrote: “The air strike flattened the home of the Dalou family in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City, causing the biggest death toll in a single incident since the offensive began last Wednesday.The strike was believed to be aimed at a Hamas official, Mohamed Dalou … A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces said the military could not confirm the target but said ‘senior operatives affiliated with rocket fire, were being pinpointed”. This is posted here.
But, the IDF has issued no statement of clarification or explanation or correction.
Haaretz journalist Avi Issacharoff — who was clearly aware of the magnitude of this error — posted a piece, here, just nine minutes after the Haaretz Live Blog update.
In his piece, Issacharoff wrote: “Among those killed in the house were five women, four children and three men. Al Jazeera television repeatedly broadcast the pictures of the bodies of the four children, who were 2 to 5 years old, lying next to each other in the hospital in Gaza on Sunday. The live broadcasts from the house focused on documenting the attempts to rescue survivors from the ruins, but the cameras recorded only the discovery of another body there. Those pictures were broadcast all over the Arab world, on the eve of the arrival of an Arab League foreign ministers’ delegation, which was supposed to bring with it a cease-fire agreement… Even before the al Dalou family, reports about casualties among children, women and the elderly have been increasing over the past two days, while harm caused to militants from Hamas or other organizations has been relatively limited … One possible explanation for the growing number of strikes against the civilian population is the decline in the number of quality targets available to Israeli intelligence and the Israel Air Force. In the afternoon, there was a report of the assassination of the head of the Hamas rocket program, Yahye Rabiya – of whom nobody in the Gaza Strip had ever heard and whose name for some reason was not even mentioned on the lists of those killed in Gaza. But the attacks on empty facilities belonging to Hamas — or what used to be called ‘bombing real estate’ — can also attest to a certain frustration in the Israel Defense Forces in light of the continued firing of rockets even more intensively, despite the innumerable aerial strikes and bombings in Gaza. Another problem with which Israel has to contend is the fact that it is doubtful whether the large number of casualties among Gaza’s civilian population actually leads Hamas leaders to reconsider the firing of rockets…”
Click below to see some photos, which are quite … graphic.