Islamic Jihad accidentally killed a Hamas terrorist with a misfired rocket

During Operation Breaking Dawn, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad accidentally killed a Hamas terrorist with their own misfired rocket that was aimed toward Israel.

 A picture published by Hamas with the death announcement of Yasser Nimr Al-Nabahin. (photo credit:  Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)
A picture published by Hamas with the death announcement of Yasser Nimr Al-Nabahin.
(photo credit: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)

A Hamas terrorist was accidentally killed by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket during Operation Breaking Dawn, according to information released by Hamas and Palestinian media during the conflict, together with corroborating statements made on Sunday by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

On August 7, the last day of the three-day battle, Palestinian and Israeli media reported that an explosive had struck a house in the central Gaza town of Bureij. Three boys, 13-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, were killed in the explosion, and their father was injured, Shehab News initially reported that evening.

While Israeli media only reported three deaths as a result of the incident in Bureij, Shehab News reported just over an hour later that the father, Yasser Nimr Al-Nabahin, had died of his injuries.

Hamas's military wing, The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, immediately published a notice of his death. Nabahin was described by the terrorist group as an “al-Qassam mujahid” (holy warrior) and one of the military wing’s “loyal knights.”

The four deceased family members were draped in Hamas flags during their funeral, images published by Shehab News showed. The al-Qassam Brigades published a picture on their website alongside Nabahin’s death notice, showing a body covered in the brigade’s flag and an AK-47-style weapon on top of it.

  Ahmed Muhammad Afana (credit:  Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot) Ahmed Muhammad Afana (credit: Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website/screenshot)

The Associated Press reported last Monday that Nabahin was an off-duty “Hamas-affiliated” policeman. Shehab News also reported that the Gaza Interior Ministry had him on its payroll as a police officer. The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), however, previously stated that Hamas police serve in a “dual function” with the al-Qassam Brigades, “de facto still part of Hamas combat troops, participating in military activity against the IDF.”

The incident in Bureij was the result of the failed launching of a rocket by Islamic Jihad against Israel, Maariv and Ynet reported on August 7 according to a preliminary IDF inquiry. AP last Monday also described the incident as “suspicious,” listing it with other possible Islamic Jihad rocket accidents.

On Sunday evening, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that a misfired rocket was responsible for the Bureij incident.

There were no other incidents the military is aware of that occurred in Bureij on that day, and Hamas was not targeted there.

Others killed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets

Another Hamas operative died during the operation under suspicious circumstances. About three hours prior to the Bureij explosion, Ahmed Muhammad Afana was killed in Jabaliya. Like Nabahin, the al-Qassam Brigades announced his death, describing him as one of their soldiers. The militant branch also published pictures of Afana in military fatigues, armed with a scoped M4 carbine.

The IDF was not immediately able to confirm that either Israeli forces or Islamic Jihad were responsible for Afana’s death.

The town where Afana was killed was the site of other notable Islamic Jihad rocket failures.

The first incident, on August 6, killed at least nine people, including four children. The IDF published footage of the incident, and Israeli officials at every level have affirmed that Islamic Jihad was to blame.

“Tonight, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired a rocket towards Israel, which fell short inside Gaza, hitting a Palestinian home in the Jabaliya neighborhood and tragically killing at least four children.”

Prime Minister's Office International Spokeswoman Keren Hajioff

“Tonight, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired a rocket towards Israel, which fell short inside Gaza, hitting a Palestinian home in the Jabaliya neighborhood and tragically killing at least four children,” said the Prime Minister's Office International Spokeswoman Keren Hajioff, in a video published on August 7.

The second incident in Jabaliya, which also occurred on August 7, killed five people, reported Shehab News. Maariv cited IDF sources reporting that this was also the result of Islamic Jihad rocket fire. AP visited both Jabaliya sites, saying last Monday that its correspondents did not see what they described as the telltale signs of IDF strikes.

During three days of fighting, Islamic Jihad killed more Gazan civilians than the IDF, the military Spokesperson’s Unit commander Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav said in an August 8 briefing. Of the 26 civilians that died last week, 11 were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and at least 15 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets.

Gazan terrorist organizations led by Islamic Jihad launched around 1,100 rockets during Operation Breaking Dawn, the IDF has claimed. Almost 200 of these rockets fell within the Gaza strip – almost a fifth of those launched at the Jewish state.

Ariella Marsden and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.