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Palestinian home hit in clash
Photo: AFP
IDF assessment changes: Gaza girl killed by army
Army officials say teenager killed during Thursday's clash between IDF troops, Palestinian gunmen apparently hit by Israeli mortar shells; earlier, IDF said Palestinian fire killed girl

How did she die? An IDF probe into a clash between soldiers and Gaza gunmen shows that a girl killed in the shootout was hurt by Israeli fire, army officials said late Thursday.

 

Earlier, the army said the Palestinian teenager was likely killed by Palestinian fire, but the investigation later revealed that this was likely not the case.

 

A 17-year-old girl was killed in the incident and 11 others were wounded, the Palestinians said.

 

Did Israeli fire kill girl? (Photo: AFP)

 

An IDF force on patrol came under fire near the Gaza border fence Thursday, the army said, adding that troops responded by directing mortar shells at the Palestinian side. At this time it is unclear why the shells hurt a group of Palestinian civilians. The possibilities being examined are that the victims were in close proximity to the gunmen, or that troops erred while aiming their mortar fire.

 

"The debriefing continues and it's too early to draw final conclusions," an IDF official said. However, he added that the probe increasingly showed that the Palestinian civilians were mistakenly hit by IDF fire.

 

2 bombs uncovered 

During operation Cast Lead in Gaza, a tactical error in the activation of the mortar system used in Thursday's incident led to the wounding of several IDF soldiers. The system in question is considered more accurate and less powerful than the firing of tank shells.

 

Meanwhile, IDF forces uncovered two explosive devices at the border fence near the site of the clash. The bombs did not explode during the incident. Army officials noted that the troops who came under attack initially prepared to cross the fence into Gaza, but eventually decided to fire mortar shells at the Palestinian gunmen.

 

Hamas did not rush to address the incident, and by Thursday night no Palestinian organization claimed responsibility for the attack on the IDF force.

 

Ali Waked contributed to the story

 


First published: 07.03.09, 00:16
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