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Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 27, 2012
There was "no mistake" in an Israeli air strike that killed 12 Palestinians in Gaza, including 10 from the same family, the Israeli army said on Tuesday, saying the raid targeted a "terror operative."
The November 18 strike, in the middle of a conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, hit the home of the Dallu family, killing 10 of its members, and two neighbours, including five children and five women.
Mohammed Jamal al-Dallu, 29, a member of the Hamas police unit charged with protecting important people, was also killed in the strike, and the Israeli army said on Tuesday that he was the target of the raid.
"The father was a known terror operative affiliated with the military wing of Hamas," army spokeswoman Avital Leibovich told AFP.
"There was no mistake from the IDF. It's tragic when a terror operative is hiding among civilians but unfortunately it is part of Hamas and Islamic Jihad tactics," she added.
The military originally said the strike had targeted a Hamas member responsible for firing rockets into Israel, Yehia Rabea, without saying whether he was inside the Dallu building.
But it subsequently declined to comment, before today saying that Mohammed al-Dallu had in fact been the target.
The raid attracted significant media attention both domestically and internationally, with observers particularly shocked by the deaths of several children.
At least 166 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed during the eight-day conflict, according to health officials in Gaza. Six Israelis were killed, four civilians and two soldiers, according to Israeli police and the army.
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