About a third of the Palestinians who died during the latest episode of violence between Israel and Gaza fighters they may have been killed by errant rockets fired by the palestinian sideaccording to an Israeli military assessment.
The Israeli military reported that 47 Palestinians were killed during the weekend fighting, and that at least 14 of them were killed by rockets launched by Islamic Jihad that missed their target.
No one in Gaza with direct knowledge of the explosions in question wanted to speak publicly about it. But live televised footage showed projectiles from extremists falling into densely populated residential neighborhoods. And visits by journalists to the site of two of the explosions that killed a total of 12 people corroborated suspicions that they were the product of rockets deviating from their trajectory.
Israel claimed victory in weekend clashes, partly because it killed two top Islamic Jihad commanders and because no Israelis were killed or seriously injured. If it turns out that Islamic Jihad caused harm to some of those it claims to protect, it would be a humiliating result for the extremist group and its main backer, Iran.
In Gaza, the ruling group Hamas keeps a close eye on dissent, and many Palestinians view the armed groups as freedom fighters defending their homeland from Israeli aggression.
Israel claimed that it only attacked combatants and that it took all measures to avoid civilian casualties. But at least one of his offensives, in which a senior Islamic Jihad commander was killed in the city of Rafah on Saturday night, it also claimed the lives of five civilians after Israel demolished one home and heavily damaged others.
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