Ramallah, September 4, 2014—A new ceasefire brought relief and hope to the exhausted population of Gaza on August 26, as Egypt brokered an indefinite truce between the Israeli government and Palestinian factions.
The UN said a total of 495 children have been killed since the start of Israel’s military offensive on Gaza. Confirmation of an additional 49 children killed brought the total number of child deaths independently verified by DCI-Palestine to 349.
On July 14, one child was killed when an Israeli drone launched a missile at him as he was riding home on his motorbike in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Ziad Maher Mohammad Al-Najjar, 16, who lost his older brother in July and his father in Operation Cast Lead in 2008, died instantly.
Seven children died on July 20 as a result of intense violence in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City. Saad and Anas al-Sakafi, 17-year-old twins, died when their family’s home was targeted in an airstrike. The missile struck the three-story house, killing the twins and at least five other family members. Three more children died as they fled their home amid heavy shelling in the area. The Isslim family was 500 meters (1640 feet) from their house when shells killed Shadi, 15, Ola, 11, and Fadi, 9. Ambulances were not admitted to the area by Israeli forces until 90 minutes after the incident. A further two deaths took place amid the shelling. The Al-Shaikh Khalil family was sheltering in the staircase of their apartment block when the building sustained direct hits from artillery fire. Hiba, 13, and Samia, 2, died in the attack, while two other children sustained serious injuries.
July 22 saw another two deaths confirmed. Nour Abu Huaishel, 6, and Obaida Abu Huaishel, 9, were killed when Israeli drones targeted the family home in Nuseirat refugee camp, near Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. Nour died from shrapnel injuries when a missile landed close to where he was standing in the street next to his house. Obaida died three hours later in another drone attack on the house.
On July 23, four child deaths were reported. In Deir al-Balah, two-year-old Jina al-Mukata’ died when an Israeli airstrike targeted her family’s home, flattening it completely. Jina sustained a head injury and was transferred to Al-Aqsa Hospital, where she died. In Khan Younis, two children, Mohammad al-Bashiti, 7, died when an Israeli aircraft targeted his house as his family slept. His one-year-old brother, Ali, sustained critical injuries and died four days later in hospital. Also in Khan Younis, 4-year-old Zainab Abu Tair died when an Israeli drone launched a missile at her grandfather’s house, where the family had fled for shelter. Zainab’s adult sister Taghrid lost both legs in the attack, and another adult sister was evacuated to hospital, where she died of her injuries.
A further four deaths took place on July 24 in Khan Younis. Mahmoud Ismail al-Astal, 16, was killed along with four other family members when a drone launched three missiles at the family’s home. Two of Mahmoud’s cousins, Nada al-Astal, 5, her brother Ameen, 3, were killed when another strike targeted their house nearby. Moatasem al-Najjar, 5, died from shrapnel injuries caused by Israeli shelling as he sheltered in his family’s basement.
An additional death was recorded on July 25 in Khan Younis, when Mahmoud Suleiman al-Astal, 16, succumbed to injuries sustained during a drone strike the previous day.
July 26 saw a high number of deaths confirmed, with ten children from one family killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home in Khan Younis. The Al-Najjar family home was targeted in the middle of the night without warning. Numerous relatives displaced by the violence were sheltering in the building at the time of the attack. Mutaz, 5, Samir, 1, Ghalia, 1, Bara’, 11, Hani, 7, Rawan, 16, Ahmad, 1, Amir, 2, Amira, 1, and Islam, 4, all died in the attack.
On July 27, two deaths were confirmed in Khan Younis, with July 28 bringing a further death in Nuseirat. Rami al-Rakab, 15, and Hussein Abu Saker, 16, were leaving the mosque when an Israeli drone fired a missile that led to the death of both boys. Abed Ahmad Ramadan, 15, died on July 28 when an Israeli drone missile hit his family’s house, causing it to collapse on his head and killing him instantly.
Another five children died on July 29. In Gaza City, a disabled child, 11-year-old Sujoud Alwan, was buried under her house when an aircraft targeted it without warning. Sujoud, who was paralyzed, was recovered from beneath the rubble the following day. In Deir al-Balah, 11-year-old Riham Abu Mashi was taking shelter with her family in her uncle’s house when an airstrike destroyed a neighboring building. Riham, who was sleeping at the time, was buried under the rubble when the house collapsed. In the same incident, Riham’s cousin, Tareq, also 11, died four days later in hospital following a surgery to amputate his leg. In Khan Younis, two 17-year-olds died when an Israeli drone missile landed next to them as they gathered outside a relative’s house where they had fled for safety. The final death occurred in Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza, when a missile hit the Abu-Shammaleh family home without warning, killing 7-year-old Mohammad Abu-Shammaleh.
Asma Abu al-Kaas, 16, Osama al-Hilo, 4, and Salah Musa Ibrahim Hajazi al-Ghalban, 13, all died on July 30. Asma, from Bureij, died when her home collapsed on her after an Israeli missile targeted the home of a neighbor. Her body was recovered by medical teams. Osama, from Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, died as he played with other children in the street during a ceasefire. Two large explosions led to Osama sustaining shrapnel injuries that killed him. Salah, from Khan Younis, died when his grandfather’s house was targeted in an airstrike without warning. The missile destroyed the house and buried Salah in rubble, along with six of his family members.
The number of additional child deaths confirmed in the first three days of August was eight. One child, 16-year-old Fayez Yassin from Al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, was killed on August 1 as he and his father attempted to take an injured person to the hospital in a car, which was targeted by an Israeli drone.
On August 2, four children died in Nuseirat when the Abu Madi family home was targeted. The three-story building collapsed, killing Ameed, 10, Yousef, 6, Hassan, 17, and Hala, a 17-day-old baby. Maisarah Abu Madi, who was pregnant at the time, sustained shrapnel injuries that resulted in the loss of her unborn baby. Another child, Amro Kandil, 17 was killed in Al-Maghazi refugee camp, central Gaza, when artillery fire hit his family’s house.
On August 3, two children died when their home in Deir al-Balah was hit by Israeli missiles. Dalia Hattab, 15, and Rimas Al-Attar, 4, were killed along with seven adults.
One Israeli child was also killed by Palestinian mortar fire on August 22. Daniel Tragerman, 4, from a kibbutz close to the Gaza border, sustained fatal injuries when the missile landed close to him. He became the first Israeli child, and the fourth civilian, to die in the 50-day conflict.
Ramallah, August 15, 2014—An additional 36 confirmed child deaths brought the death toll to 300 today. DCI-Palestine has been documenting the exact circumstances of each individual death that took place during the 5-week assault of the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces, and is currently investigating a further 163 cases.
As DCI-Palestine continues to confirm deaths, tenuous ceasefires are restoring calm, but not normality, to the Gaza Strip. Many civilians are tentatively returning to their neighborhoods to find their homes reduced to rubble, while others are still searching for loved ones lost during the deadly assault of the past month. In the town of Beit Hanoun alone, 30,000 people need rehoming. The UN has called the level of destruction “unprecedented.”
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are currently locked in talks to reach an agreement that will result in a more permanent end to the fighting, but few details have been made public. There is limited evidence of any substantial progress in the talks.
Palestinian factions involved in the negotiations in Cairo are insisting that an end to the blockade is crucial in reaching an agreement for a long term truce. The Gaza Strip has been under a blockade by Israel since 2007, resulting in difficult economic and social conditions in the densely populated enclave.
DCI-Palestine confirmed the following deaths.
On July 19, Tala Akram Ahmad Atwi, 6, was in her home in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City when the area came under heavy artillery shelling and the house was destroyed. Tala died along with her grandparents.
On July 20, six deaths were confirmed. Dina Omar Abdullah Aziz, 7, from Beit Lahia in the north of the Gaza Strip, was out with her mother shopping for essentials when a drone missile targeted a nearby motorcyclist. Shrapnel from the explosion killed Dina instantly. Marwa Salman Ahmad Sarsawi, 13, from the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, was killed when shells landed on her grandparents’ house, where she and her family were sheltering. Also in Shuja’iyya, 5-year-old Mohammad Ashraf Rafeeq Ayyad and his sister Ghada, 11, were killed by artillery fire as they fled their home. Mohammad and Ghada died along with their mother, who was 7 months pregnant with twins. Their cousins Mohammad Rami Fathi Ayyad, 2, and Shireen Fathi Othman Ayyad, 17, also died in the attack.
A further four deaths were confirmed to have taken place on July 22. Salma Salem Rajab al-Radeei, 2, from Beit Lahia, went next door with her brother to see a cousin. A drone missile killed her, her brother and her cousin. Also in northern Gaza, in Beit Hanoun, a 1-year-old girl was killed when the family home was hit by an artillery shell. Muna Rami Adel Akhrawat died upon arrival at hospital. Her heavily pregnant mother also arrived dead. Doctors delivered her baby, who was named Ahmad and lived for 90 minutes before his life also ended.
On the same day in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, Ahmad Salah Mohammad Abu Sido, 17, was killed by a drone missile as he stood 80 meters (262 feet) from his home. Waleed Said Nasr Eil, 7, was also killed. He was returning with his family to their home in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood when a bullet was fired by Israeli soldiers who were stationed in one of the surrounding houses, killing him instantly.
On July 29 in Beit Lahia, 4-month-old Jud Yousef Ibrahim Abu Eida was killed when her family’s home came under heavy artillery shelling. She died after sustaining shrapnel injuries.
July 30 brought four more deaths. The Khalili family was waiting to be evacuated in the yard outside their house in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City when a drone missile hit the area and killed Zeyad, 2, Lama, 3, Dima, 4, and Mahmoud, 7.
Three deaths occurred on August 1. Maria Mohammad Awwad Abu Jazar, 1, and her 2-year-old brother Firas, were killed after their home in Rafah, southern Gaza, was targeted by a missile. In Sheikh Zayed, northern Gaza, an 8-month-old baby, Sama Nael Bassam Barawi, was killed when a missile targeted the family farm.
Five children from the same family died on August 2 in Tel Al-Sultan refugee camp in southern Gaza. An Israeli F16 airstrike targeted the home of the Abu Suleiman family in the middle of the night without prior warning, killing Mohammad, 11, Rana, 10, Lama, 3, Jana, 3, and Ahmad, 2.
Seven child deaths were recorded on August 3. In Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, eight family members, including three children, died in a targeted Israeli airstrike on Mohammad Abdel-Karim Abu Najem’s home. The missile killed Ahmad Mohammad Abdel-Karim Abu Najem, 17, his two older siblings, his father, and his grandfather. The blast also destroyed the home of Ahmad’s cousin, killing 14-year-old Shaima Wael Mahmoud Qasem, and 3-year-old Raghdad Mohammad Saed Abu Najem.
Another child, Rajab Abdel-Rahman Ahmad Shurafi, 9, also from Jabalia, was killed when his home was similarly destroyed by an Israeli missile. A further three children died in Beit Lahia when the Majdalawi family home was targeted in an airstrike, leveling the house and killing Abdullah, 13, Mahmoud, 9, and Rawan, 10.
Three members from one family were killed on August 4 in Beit Lahia, when their family home was targeted and collapsed on them. Aseel, 7, Kamal, 3, and 3-month-old Asma all died in the strike, which occurred during a supposed humanitarian truce. In Jabalia, one fatality was recorded when artillery shells landed close to Ezzat Khamis Yousef Jnaid, 17, as he stood in front of his grandparents’ house, where the family had fled for shelter.
On August 8, one more death was confirmed. Ibrahim Zuhair Ibrahim Dawawseh, 10, was playing with friends near a mosque in Gaza City after Friday prayers, when a drone missile hit the children directly. Ibrahim became the first civilian to die after the end of a 72-hour-ceasefire pronounced on Tuesday, August 5.
Ramallah, August 10, 2014—Dozens of child deaths from the month-long Gaza conflict were still being confirmed by DCI-Palestine sources this week, as the end of a 72-hour ceasefire brought further Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes.
Hopes had been high among Gaza’s people and the international community that the ceasefire of the past few days would continue, allowing for ongoing negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, taking place in Egypt. As the agreed ceasefire reached its end, a volley of rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups resulted in renewed Israeli airstrikes and further Palestinian deaths, including a 10-year-old boy in Gaza.
The UN said a total of 456 children have been killed since the start of Israel’s military offensive on Gaza. Confirmation of an additional 23 children killed brought the total number of child deaths independently verified by DCI-Palestine to 264.
On July 22, two children died in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza, when an artillery shell landed nearby. Mohammad Ahmad Asad al-Baddi, 1, died in his mother’s arms, as he traveled with his family to his uncle’s house, and an 8-year-old girl named Shahd Muin Ali Qeshta died from shrapnel wounds, as she played near a window in her house.
One death was confirmed from July 24, when Mahmoud Jihad Nayef Abedin, 12, from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, accompanied his father as he attempted to rescue a person injured by a missile. A second missile directed at the same target killed Mahmoud.
Five children from the same family died on July 29 in Al-Zuwaida, central Gaza. An Israeli airstrike hit the home of the Abu Khusa family without prior warning, killing Rithal, 8-months, Jana, 11-months, Mohammad, 1, Yazan, 4, and Shahd, 9.
Three deaths were recorded on July 30. In Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, 7-year-old Mohammad Taleb Mohammad Assaf died when an artillery shell landed 30 meters (98 feet) from his home, as he played in the yard. Flying shrapnel hit him in the head, and he died on arrival at the hospital. His brother Nashat, 14, sustained severe injuries to his back and legs and has been awaiting transfer abroad for treatment. Two more deaths, Osama Mohammad Sihweil, 16, from Beit Hanoun, and Ala Khader Ramadan Salman, 17, from Beit Lahia, occurred on the same day when Israeli artillery hit an UNRWA school housing internally displaced people.
On August 1, the whole of the al-Neireb family died when their home in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City was flattened in an Israeli attack. Mohammad Ahmad Mohammad Neireb, 14, Mahmoud, 10, and Momen, 8, died along with their mother and father.
Aseel Saleh Hussein Abu Mohsen, 17, died on the same day. News that a ceasefire had taken hold prompted Aseel’s father, Saleh, to take his daughters home to Shawkah district, east of the Gaza town of Rafah, to survey the damage and salvage items. When the ceasefire ended abruptly, they found themselves trapped by heavy shelling. Saleh attempted to evacuate his daughters, and sent Aseel with a neighbor to avoid dying together from a single shell. While crossing Salah al-Din Street, they came under heavy fire, and Saleh fled with his two other daughters. When he looked back, he saw Aseel had fallen in a ditch by the side of the street. Unable to rescue his daughter, he took his two other girls to a hospital for safety, and went back to search for Aseel with paramedics, but did not find her. After three days of searching for her, residents recovered Aseel’s body. She had sustained fatal gunshot wounds to her neck and shoulder.
Eight child deaths were confirmed in one incident on August 3, when an UNRWA school in Rafah, which was sheltering 3,000 internally displaced persons, came under attack. A drone missile landed approximately six meters (20 feet) from the entrance to the school where children had gathered at the gate to buy sweets and drinks. Ismail Samir Suleiman Shallouf, 16, Yousef Akram Saleh al-Skafi and Amro Tareq Said Abu al-Rous, both 15, Ahmad Khaled Ismail Abu Harba , 14, Tareq Ziyad Suleiman Abu Khatleh, 9, Saqer Bassam Suleiman al-Kashef, 7, Munther Mohammad Ghanem Abu Rejel, 5, and Aya Mohammad Ghanem Abu Rejel, 3, all died in the blast.
The international community has consistently criticized Israeli attacks that have resulted in hundreds of child deaths, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stating that the violence in Gaza had “shocked and shamed the world.”
The renewed violence on Saturday sent tens of thousands of civilians who had previously attempted to return to their homes back to UNRWA shelters. The violence will also deepen the humanitarian crisis caused by lack of food, water and power for hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza.
Ramallah, August 5, 2014—As the Israeli assault on Gaza approached its one-month mark, Israel and Palestinian armed groups accepted today a 72-hour, Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, and Israeli troops withdrew from the Strip.
The announcement comes as international outrage directed at Israeli attacks on civilian structures grew over the weekend, when at least 10 civilians were killed in the third deadly attack on an UNRWA school in less than two weeks.
“When there is doubt in regard to the nature of the target, international law stipulates that locations typically used for civilian purposes must be presumed not to be legitimate targets,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. “Over the past month, Israeli forces launched attacks on homes, hospitals, and schools in Gaza, adding to concern that Israel is both in violation of international law and committing war crimes.”
Sunday’s shelling of the UN school serving as a civilian shelter in Rafah was immediately met with international condemnation.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the attack was “a moral outrage and a criminal act.” Echoing Ki-moon’s concern, Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said the Israeli shelling was “disgraceful,” adding that the coordinates of the school had been “repeatedly communicated” to Israeli forces.
At the start of a seven-hour ceasefire declared by Israel on Monday, an eight-year-old girl was apparently killed by an Israeli airstrike on her home.
The UN said a total of 408 children have been killed since the start of Israel’s military offensive on Gaza. Confirmation of an additional 75 children killed brought the total number of child deaths independently verified by DCI-Palestine to 241.
A drone missile killed seven-year-old Ahmad Walid Nasrallah Samour in the street outside his cousin’s home in Bani Suheila, near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, on July 19. The boy left his house after hearing an explosion, and died from a second blast minutes later.
DCI-Palestine is still confirming child deaths two weeks after the exceptionally violent assault on the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City. A missile killed Narmeen Majed Yousef Daher, 10, and Dana Mohammad Majed Daher, 1, when it hit their home on July 20. Their bodies were recovered eight days later.
Hazem Naim Mohammad Aqel, 14, was hit by a drone missile while grocery shopping at a store with his cousin in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City on July 23. Hazem was an orphan.
Israeli shelling in the Khuza’a neighborhood of Khan Younis killed Anas Hatem Suleiman Qdaih, 7, on July 24. Shrapnel punctured Anas’ body, as his family fled the home they had sought shelter in after it was struck with an F16 missile.
An F16 missile targeting a mosque in Al-Jurn neighborhood of Jabalia in northern Gaza on July 24 killed two children. The impact of the explosion threw rubble into the Abdel-Fattah Abdel-Nabi house, killing three-year-old Hadi Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Fattah Abdel-Nabi and his one-year-old-cousin Abdel-Rahman.
A targeted Israeli strike hit the home of Duaa Sami Ibrahim Saadeh, 12, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, where she lived with her mother. Duaa’s father was not present on July 25 at the time of the attack, but received a phone call from the Israeli army telling him his house would be targeted. His attempts to warn his wife and daughter failed.
The body of 16-year-old Mohammad Ali Khalil Saidam was recovered in Al-Maghazi, central Gaza, on the morning of July 26. His parents said he disappeared four days earlier.
The killing of Hanan Salem Mohammad al-Far, 15, on July 28 was also confirmed. Hanan died, along with eight other members of her family, when a F16 missile hit and flattened her home to the ground in Al-Maghazi.
Two siblings, Hind Imad Mohammad Qadoura, 11, and her brother Yousef, 10, were killed by an artillery shell on July 28 alongside their four-year-old cousin Mohammad Musa Marzouq Elwan. The children were celebrating Eid al-Fitr holiday in their home in Jabalia in northern Gaza.
An Israeli F16 missile killed six children from one family in Al-Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza, on July 29. Hala Ahmad Hamdan Abu Jabr, 5, died with her cousins, Leen Anwar Mohammad Abu Jabr, 3, Salma, 1, Mohammad Raed Mohammad Abu Jabr, 3, Sama, 1, and Tuqa Salah Khalil Abu Isa, 4 months. A pregnant woman had a miscarriage in the attack.
Two cousins from one family were killed together on July 29. Rahaf Ala Jamal Abed Rabo, 2, and Jamal Mohammad Jamal Abed Rabo, 1, died when Israeli artillery shells hit their home in Jabalia, northern Gaza. A further three children from Jabalia, Bara’ Mohammad Husni Suleiman, 7, his sister Halima, 1, and Haneen Husam al-Din Khalil Hammouda, 12, were killed when their home was shelled.
Another five children from one family were confirmed killed by heavy Israeli shelling in Jabalia that same day. Isra’ Naim Nathmi Balata, 13, and her siblings Ala’, 15, and Yahia, 11, died alongside their cousins Hadeel Abdel-Karim Nathmi Balata, 17 and her brother Abdul-Karim, a baby of unknown age.
Israeli artillery shells killed two brothers early morning on July 29. Ibrahim Karim Abdullah al-Snairi, 9, and his brother Mohammad, 11, died in their home in Al-Zuwaida, central Gaza.
On the same day, nine children, along with 10 adults, from the Daheer family were killed when their home in Rafah was flattened in an airstrike. Tasneem, 3, Yamen, 5, Mohammad, 7, Momen, 8, Mohammad, 9, Ghaida, 11, Maria, 12, Salameh, 13, and Arwa, 17, all died in the strike.
In one Israeli F16 strike on Wednesday, July 30, 19 children died. The explosion killed everyone inside of the three story al-Dali building in Al-Mahatta, in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. Omar Waddah Hasan Abu Amer, 12, died alongside four of his siblings, Abdel-Ghani, 11, Imad, 10, Issa, 8, Ezzedine, 4, and five of his cousins, Mohammad Ahmad Suleiman Abu Amer, 12, Marah, 10, Yasser, 9, Marwa, 5, and Suleiman, 2. The strike killed three children from the Braikeh family, Osama Fayez Ahmad Braikeh, 16, Lama, 3, and Jana, 1. Also killed in the attack were three children from the al-Najjar family, Layali Wael Jamil al-Najjar, 2, Duaa Jamil Ahmad al-Najjar, 17, and Mohammad Jamil Ahmad al-Najjar, 12. Two siblings from the Muammar family died as well, Yazan Ahmad Marzouq Muammar, 3, and his sister Hala, 1. Their nine-year-old neighbor Aya Sami Anwar al-Ramlawi was also killed in the attack.
One further death on July 30 was confirmed. An Israeli artillery shell landed in the bedroom of Ali Ahmad Khaled Shahin, 15, and killed him while he slept.
Five children from one family were killed early Friday morning, August 1. The family fled their home when it was hit by two drone missiles, but a third missile hit them in the street, killing Nadeen Mahmoud Abdel-Salam al-Farra, 16, her siblings Yara, 7, and Mohammad, 12, and their cousins Lujein Basem Abdel-Malek al-Farra, 4, and her brother Abdel-Rahman, 8.
Another family, the Za’rab family from Rafah, also sustained heavy losses on August 1 when the house in which they were taking shelter was hit in an airstrike. Moatasem, 2, Waleed, 5, Rawan and Khaled, both 8, Shahd, 10, Mohammad, 12, Odai, 13, and Amir, Rami, and Ahmad, all 15, lost their lives in the attack.
The Israeli assault has internally displaced over 520,000 Palestinians, who are living in makeshift shelters and relatives’ homes. On Monday, the United Nations warned that overcrowding in their shelters, coupled with low water supplies and poor sanitation posed serious threats to the health of civilians in Gaza.
Early estimates indicate that 373,000 children in Gaza are in need of immediate psycho-social support due to trauma experienced in the past month alone.