OC Southern Command Yoav Galant said he felt deep pain for the women, children, and other Palestinian civilians who were killed early Wednesday morning after an IDF shell apparently misfired and hit a home in Beit Hanun.
Still, Galant noted that there was as yet no absolute confirmation that all the civilians were killed by IDF shells, and that an investigation into the matter was still underway.
"The orders for IDF soldiers on the matter are clear, and they are taking everyone who is not involved out of the range of fire," he said, adding that "yesterday, Kassam rockets were fired from the area at Ashkelon. In the morning, there was a warning that they were supposed to fire more rockets. This shooting was a preventative [measure] so this would not come to pass."
Galant concluded that "now we will check what happened, but this has no connection to the fact that we [would possibly] take the chance...of harming innocent civilians deliberately."