Evidence indicates child whose death was blamed on Israel, was actually killed by Hamas rocket

Image of dead child in Gaza (PHOTO: Scrrenshot)

Originally published in Algemeiner

A dead Gazan child, whose picture made world media headlines claiming him to be a victim of an Israeli airstrike, appears to have been killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short of its target, landing inside Gaza instead of Israel, according to evidence brought to light by anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon.

According to most accounts, the 4 year old boy Mahmoud Sadallah, was from the neighborhood of Annazla, close to Gaza City.

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International publications including CNN and Britain’s Mirror ran the tragic images of Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh and others cradling the dead child, and the media outlets explicitly blamed Israel for the child’s death.

“Egypt’s Prime Minister wept today as he kissed the forehead of a boy killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza,” reads the Mirror’s caption under the photo. CNN reporter Sara Sidner referred to the boy as “another victim of an [Israeli] air strike.”

But even the New York Times was more cautious in its reporting:

“It is unclear who was responsible for the strike on Annazla: the damage was nowhere near severe enough to have come from an Israeli F-16, raising the possibility that an errant missile fired by Palestinian militants was responsible for the deaths.”

After reviewing CNN’s footage of the scene of the blast, Yiftah Shapir, a ballistics expert who is the Director of the Middle East Military Balance Project at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel confirmed to The Algemeiner, “It is reasonable to say that this damage is from a relatively small explosion at close range.”

“You see a lot of small holes,” he added, “If it was a very heavy bomb the damage would be worse, and at long range the shrapnel would be spread much more widely because of the long distance.”

Israel National News Reports that the IDF published statistics last night indicating that of, 824 rockets that have been fired at Israel since the start of the most recent hostilities, 100 of those rockets have landed in Gaza.

The IDF strongly denied any involvement in the incident saying that it had not carried out any airstrikes at that time in that area.

The Associated Press report on the story provided additional details that cast further doubt over Israel’s involvement in the child’s death:

“Mahmoud’s family said the boy was in an alley close to his home when he was killed, along with a man of about 20, but no one appeared to have witnessed the strike. The area showed signs that a projectile might have exploded there, with shrapnel marks in the walls of surrounding homes and a shattered kitchen window. But neighbors said local security officials quickly took what remained of the projectile, making it impossible to verify who fired it.”

“Furthermore,” writes Elder of Ziyon, “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights , which is keeping track of everyone killed in Gaza (and which admits that most of the dead have been “militants,”) did not list Mahmoud Sadallah or Aiman Aby Wardah in their list of victims of Israeli airstrikes, although they even include one person who died of a heart attack.”

CNN did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment on this story.

The CNN video which blames Israel for the child’s death can be viewed here.

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