Wednesday, February 4, 2009

IDF Admits "Mistake" in Killing Doctor's Three Daughters and Niece

Haaretz, February 4, 2009 - The Israel Defense Forces acknowledged yesterday that the three daughters and a niece of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish were killed by army fire in an incident that had targeted Hamas spotters on the upper levels of the building where the family lived.

Dr. Abu al-Aish, who received a copy of the IDF report, told Haaretz last night.

Contrary to the initial IDF response that shots had been fired from the home of the doctor, and to rumors on the Internet that an arms cache had been found there, an army investigation at division level showed otherwise.

According to the army investigation, during the fighting in the town of Saja'iyeh, east of Gaza City, a Golani Brigade force came under fire from snipers and mortar firing near the Abu al-Aish home. During the exchanges of fire the IDF force identified figures that were suspected as spotters and guided accurate fire at them. The force commander assessed the situation and ordered a tank providing cover to his troops to target the suspect figures on the upper floor of the home. The tank fired at least two rounds that struck the building's lower level, where the daughters and nieces of Abu al-Aish were staying.

The investigation concluded that tank fire killed the girls and wounded two others....

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