The conclusions from the investigation of the incident in Beit-Hanoun on April 28th, in which a mother and four children were killed, corroborate conclusions of the preliminary inquiry

 Conclusions from Investigation of the Incident in Beit-Hanoun on April 28th

 

Israeli military helicopter releases flare over Gaza   (Photo: Reuters)

(Communicated by the IDF spokesman)

The inquiry group, appointed by the GOC Southern Command, Major General Yoav Galant, to investigate the circumstances of the incident in Beit Hanoun in which unassociated civilians were hurt on April 28th, 2008, has finished its work and handed its conclusions.

Conclusions rising from the investigation point out the following:

A. Four armed gunmen firing at the soldiers were spotted in the area carrying back packs loaded with ammunition and various weaponry.

B. The attacks against the gunmen were accurate and the gunmen were hit.

C. The secondary explosions triggered by the weaponry and ammunition carried by the gunmen were bigger than the ones caused by the ammunition used by the IDF.

D. The possibility that the family was hit by other IDF fire was eliminated since this was the only incident recorded that day in which attacks were carried out in the area.

E. The professional opinion of the IDF states that the family was hit during the explosion of the second missile that ignited the secondary explosions or from objects that had flown towards them from the strength of the explosion.

Between the 28th-29th of April, 2008, IDF forces operated against terror threats in Izbet neighborhood in Beit Hanoun in order to search the area and to arrest wanted Palestinians.

During the morning hours, complex fighting occurred on the area that morning, fighting in which armed gunmen were firing mortar shells, anti tank missiles and light weapons and activating explosive devices from within dense areas.
Three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded during the fighting.

Four gunmen firing at the soldiers were spotted carrying back packs loaded with ammunition. One gunmen carrying one of the back packs was targeted and hit from the air. As a result a   strong secondary explosion accrued. Immediately after the explosion the second gunmen was targeted and hit as well causing an even bigger explosion. Both explosions were significantly stronger than those caused by the IDF attacks against them.

In light of the sensitivity of the matter and in order to leave no doubt regarding the circumstances of the incident, the IDF held a number of investigations that strengthen the IDF position to the story published the night of the incident. It should be emphasized that the armed gunmen were operating near by the family’s house, therefore endangering their lives.

The IDF wises to express sorrow for any harm to unassociated civilians caused due to terrorist organizations operate from populated centers, using them as human shields.