Close to one-third of the Palestinians who died in the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza militants may have been killed by errant rockets fired by the Palestinian side, according to an Israeli military assessment that appears consistent with independent reporting by The Associated Press.
The Israeli military said 47 Palestinians were killed in the weekend of fighting — at least 14 of them by Islamic Jihad-fired rockets that fell short.
No one in Gaza with direct knowledge of the explosions in question was willing to speak about them publicly. But live TV footage showed militant rockets falling short in densely packed residential neighborhoods. And AP visits to the sites of two explosions that killed a total of 12 people lent support to suspicions they were caused by rockets that went off course.
Israel is claiming victory in the weekend clash, in part because it killed two senior Islamic Jihad commanders and because no Israelis were killed or seriously wounded. If it turns out that Islamic Jihad harmed some of those it claims to protect, it would make for an even more humiliating outcome for the militant group and its main sponsor, Iran.