Israeli military officials on Thursday said that the Israeli army had made a mistake targeting a building in the Palestinian city of Gaza on Wednesday night that had martyred eight members of a poor family.
According to a report published by Israel-based news publication Haaretz, the Israeli officials said that the military had mistakenly identified the building in the Deir al-Balah area as empty.
“We did not realize it was populated by a family. The Israel Defense Forces are investigating the strike, which took place a few hours before a cease-fire came into effect, and its consequences,” said officials.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the martyred as Rasmi Abu Malhous and his family, including two toddlers whose bodies were dug up from the debris and whose names have not been released.
However, according to sources that spoke to the Israeli newspaper, the military wanted to target the infrastructure of the Palestinian people and was not aware that there would be civilians in it.
Israel has been targetting Gaza with air strikes over the past few days on the pretense that the area houses militants. Associates and neighbors of the family claim that they had no connection to militants.
“This was a very simple, poor family, who lives from hand to mouth in a tin shack, with no water or electricity,” said a neighbor who knew the family. “They lived off herding sheep and were known as simple.”
“Every child in Gaza knows that senior activists live in different conditions, they have houses, and even when they go underground their children and families don’t live in such squalor,” he said.