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U.N. report raises questions about Gaza infant's death

March 11, 2013|By Edmund Sanders

JERUSALEM -- A new U.N. report suggests that the Nov. 14 killing of an 11-month-old Gaza baby and two adult relatives during the eight-day clash between Israel and the militant group Hamas was likely caused by an errant Palestinian rocket and not an Israeli airstrike as widely reported.

Photos of distraught father Jehad Misharawi holding the body of his son, Omar, became one of the symbols of the conflict’s toll on civilians.

A March 6 report from the U.N. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights said the three were killed “by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.”

It offered no details about how it reached the conclusion. Hamas officials and family members had previously dismissed the possibility that a Palestinian rocket had misfired.

The report also mistakenly identified one of the victims as the baby’s mother. She was not harmed in the incident.

The U.N. agency criticized both Israel and Hamas for their attacks on civilians.

It said 168 Palestinians were killed by Israeli military action during the conflict. Of the 101 civilians who died, 33 were children and 13 were women.

Six Israelis, including four civilians, were killed by Palestinian rocket attacks into southern Israel.

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