The Israeli military on Sunday published footage it says shows a failed rocket launch attempt by Islamic Jihad militants that hit a residential home in the northern Gaza Strip city of Jabalia the night before, killing several people, including children.
"It was at the heart of the town near a mosque, and you can see the rocket near the impact site. Our radars show that this is a misfire that hit Jabalia during the barrage of 9pm," a senior IDF officer told Ynet, referring to a heavy salvo of dozens of rockets that showered southern Israel Saturday night.
"About 15% of their launches so far ended up falling short within Gaza. We have solid information from many Palestinian citizens that confirms that the children in Jabalia were hit by an Islamic Jihad misfire."
The head of Israel's Public Diplomacy Directorate Lior Hayat said that the footage proves Israel's innocence "beyond a doubt".
"Contrary to Palestinian reports about the incident in Jabalia, we have videos that prove beyond a doubt that this is not an Israeli strike," he said.
As news broke out on Palestinian and international media, a comprehensive investigation found that this was not an Israeli attack but a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip which fell in the heart of Jabalia."
Hayat also added that he considers Islamic Jihad's rocket fire a "double war crime" since "it fires at civilians using the residents of Gaza as human shields."
Meanwhile, the U.S. expressed its support of Israel, and a comment released by the U.S. Department of State said that “the U.S. fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself,” and that “all sides of the conflict need to prevent further escalations.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said Washington fully supports Israel's right to defend itself and urged all sides to avoid further escalation.
The Palestinians appealed to the United Nations Security Council on Saturday, demanding to convene a special session on the situation in Gaza.
The United Arab Emirates initiated the meeting on behalf of the Palestinians. Israeli officials estimate that the Emiratis did so under pressure from several Arab countries as well.
The meeting might take place as early as Monday.