Israeli airstrikes kill at least 140 Palestinian children in Gaza

Oct 10, 2023
Yazan Ahmad Abdulnaser Shamlakh, 10, was killed by an Israeli airstrike on October 8 alongside his brothers Abdulnaser, two, and Omar, five months, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. (Photo: Courtesy of the Shamlkah family)

Ramallah, October 10, 2023—At least 140 Palestinian children have been killed in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli military launched an offensive over the weekend, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

DCIP has confirmed the killing of at least 74 Palestinian children in direct Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip between October 7 and 10.  DCIP continues to document and confirm Palestinian child fatalities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip as hostilities continue as Israeli forces unleashed a massive military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Saturday after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza early on October 7, launching attacks inside Israel. Israeli forces initiated a large-scale military operation dubbed Operation Iron Swords. 

“Israeli forces are intensifying air, land, and sea attacks against an overwhelmingly Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip where nowhere and nobody is safe,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Rather than deescalating hostilities to rein in civilian harm, the international community is actively bolstering Israeli war efforts through increased military funding and weapons despite Israeli officials declaring their intention to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. Systemic impunity must end.”

Israeli forces fired several missiles toward a residential building in the Sheikh Ajleen neighborhood, south of Gaza City, around 8:30 p.m. on October 8, killing 10 Palestinians, including three children: Yazan, 10, Abdulnaser, two, and Omar Ahmad Abdulnaser Shamlakh, five months, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The airstrike completely destroyed the building, which included four apartments housing three families.

Yazan Ahmad Abdulnaser Shamlakh, ten.

Abdulnaser Ahmad Abdulnaser Shamlakh, two, and his father, Ahmad.

Omar Ahmad Abdulnaser Shamlakh, five months.

Israeli warplanes bombarded agricultural land on Al-Samuni Street in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, around 6 a.m. on October 9, killing two Palestinian children, sisters Lara, five, and Mira Mahmoud Fuad Abu Ghanemeh, seven, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

Israeli warplanes fired three missiles at a residential building at the intersection of Al-Ternis Street in the middle of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip around 11:30 a.m on October 9, killing 69 Palestinians, including at least 15 children, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The total number of children killed in the attack is expected to rise to 17 as DCIP field researchers work to confirm the names and ages of two additional young victims. The bombing caused massive destruction due to its location in a dense, crowded residential and shopping area.

The 15 confirmed Palestinian children killed in the Jabalia market airstrikes are:

  • Mohammad Abdulfateh Mohammad Odeh, nine
  • Diab Mohammad Diab Abu Baid, six
  • Yazan Fares Mohammad Rabaa, eight
  • Siblings Layan, eight, and Anas Nasser Shehdeh Abu Fahem, four
  • Yousef Sameer Ramadan Al-Athamneh, ten
  • Mohammad Imad Ebrek Al-Amouri, nine
  • Siblings Jannah, ten, and Joury Abdallah Salah Abu Shukian, five, and their cousins, Maria Huthaifa Salah Abu Shukian, three, and Retal Bilal Salah Abu Shukian, seven
  • Mohammad Yousef Ayesh Hamad, 17
  • Abdallah Mustafa Hussain, 14
  • Mohammad Bajes Hassan Al-Khaldi, 11
  • Mohammad Anas Musa Abu Odeh, nine

Israeli warplanes bombed a residential building without warning in the Beer Al-Najeh area of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip around 6:45 p.m. on October 9, killing seven Palestinians, including three children: Ismail Mohammad Ismail Salah, seven, and cousins Malak Mohammad Nasser Abu Obed, 15, and Karam Yousef Nasser Abu Obed, 17, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Neighbors report that there were approximately 15 to 20 people inside the building, including some who were seeking refuge. The rubble is still being searched for victims.

Around 12:25 a.m. on October 10, Israeli warplanes targeted a residential building in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinians, including 16-year-old Ahmad Ayman Ahmad Al-Asmi, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The airstrike destroyed the top two floors of the building.

At least 830 Palestinians, including at least 140 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian Health Information Center. DCIP is working to document additional attacks and killings. Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including 12-year-old Ahmad Abdulnaser Adnan Rabi

DCIP previously confirmed the killing of at least 50 Palestinian children in direct Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip between October 7 and 9, 2023, in a report issued yesterday.

Over 187,000 people in the Gaza strip have fled their homes as mass displacement escalates with intensifying Israeli attacks, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). More than 137,000 internally displaced Palestinians are sheltering in 83 United Nations schools throughout the Gaza Strip, while over 41,000 Palestinians, whose homes have been destroyed or damaged, are hosted by relatives and neighbors, according to UN OCHA.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a video statement yesterday that Israeli authorities would cut electricity and block the entry of food and fuel as part of “a complete siege” on the Gaza Strip.

More than 900 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian armed group attacks since October 7, according to news media reports.

Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 3,752 Palestinian civilians since 2008 throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to UN OCHA. Since 2000, Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 2,300 Palestinian children as of October 9, 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. Deploying explosive weapons in densely-populated civilian areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks and carrying out direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects amounts to war crimes.

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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