Islamic Jihad cell was on its way to launch a longer range rocket called a Grad. It exploded in the attack, killing the terrorists and those who were along with them. They were on their way to launch the rockets into Israel when they came into range of the IDF helicopters.
The civilian casualties resulted from the terorrists own rockets exploding in the targeted attack. Like the Gaza beach tragedy in which seven Arabs from the same family persihed, the Palestinians blame Israel, when its their own explosives that are guilty in the deaths of civilians.
According to an article in the Haaretz:
“An Israel Defense Forces committee investigating the deaths of seven Palestinians at a Gaza beach last Friday is close to concluding that the IDF was not responsible.The committee, headed by Major General Meir Kalifi, is due to present its findings to the defense minister and the chief of staff Tuesday night. Its tentative conclusion is that the deaths stemmed from a bomb that Hamas planted on the beach in order to ambush Israeli naval commandos operating in northern Gaza.”
Ynet reports that in the recent explosion:
“The IDF said civilian casualties were the result of the rockets’ explosion inside the vehicle. At least 18 rockets landed in and around Sderot in the last 24 hours. One rocket landed near a gas station, and another two landed in open spaces in the city”
These people were not out for an afternoon drive, they were on their way to launch factory made rockets, not “home made Rockets” as “al-Reuters” and the other “al-wire services” like to describe them. The van was a legitimate target in my book, though its sad for any by-stander to get hit, and something that Israel takes great care in avoiding. KGS