Israeli airstrikes kill 4 Palestinian children in Gaza

May 09, 2023
From left to right, Hajar Khalil Salah Al-Bahtini, 4, Ali Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 8, Mayar Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 10, and Iman Alaa Atta Adas, 17, were killed on May 9 by Israeli airstrikes. (Photos: Courtesy of the children's families)

Ramallah, May 9, 2023—Israeli forces launched airstrikes across the Gaza Strip last night, killing four Palestinian children.

Israeli forces targeted several residential buildings in Palestinian neighborhoods throughout the Gaza Strip around 2 a.m. on May 9, killing 13 Palestinians, including four children, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. U.S.-sourced Israeli warplanes killed Hajar Khalil Salah Al-Bahtini, 4, and Iman Alaa Atta Adas, 17, in an airstrike in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Two missiles fired from U.S.-sourced Israeli warplanes killed brother and sister Ali Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 8, and Mayar Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 10, in the Al-Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City.

“Israeli forces routinely use explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas with complete disregard for the indiscriminate effects,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “There is no safe space in the Gaza Strip for Palestinian children and their families and they increasingly bear the brunt of Israel’s repeated military offensives.”

Israeli warplanes targeted a two-story concrete house on Martyr Amer Al-Fayoumi Street in Al-Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City, killing five Palestinians, including two children: four-year-old Hajar Khalil Salah Al-Bahtini and her parents, Khalil and Laila, as well as their neighbors, 17-year-old Iman Alaa Atta Adas, and her older sister Dania. Six other Palestinians, including three children, were also wounded in the attack. 

In another attack, Israeli warplanes fired two missiles at the fifth floor of a six-story building on the Ministry of Culture Street in Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City, killing six Palestinians, including two children: brother and sister Ali Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 8, and Mayar Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, 10, as well as their father.

The same attack also destroyed the apartment on the sixth floor of the building, killing Dr. Jamal Khaswan, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Wafa Hospital, along with his wife and adult son. Six other Palestinians, including two children, were wounded and treated at Al-Shifa Hospital. 

Israeli forces announced on May 9 that they were launching a military operation dubbed “Operation Shield and Arrow” targeting leaders of the Al-Quds brigade, the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including Jihad Shaker Al-Ghannam, Khalil Salah Al-Bahtini, and Tariq Ibrahim Izzuddin, who were all killed.   

Israeli forces have killed 24 Palestinian children in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires all parties to an armed conflict to distinguish between military targets, civilians, and civilian objects. Israel as the occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, is required to protect the Palestinian civilian population from violence.

Israeli authorities have imposed a closure policy against the Gaza Strip since 2007 by strictly controlling and limiting the entry and exit of individuals; maintaining harsh restrictions on imports including food, construction materials, fuel, and other essential items; as well as prohibiting exports. Israel continues to maintain complete control over the Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace, and territorial waters.

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