WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
When Gaza’s children play, the Israeli military responds with bombs. On July 28, Israeli missiles struck more civilian structures inside Gaza, including a park where young children were playing. According to Al Jazeera English:
Eight people, including seven children, died following missile fire on a park inside the Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City, medics said.
The children were playing on a swing when the strike hit the park, Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Shifa hospital, told reporters.
Munzer al-Derby, 35, who witnessed the strike, told Al Jazeera: “The kids were playing on the wheel… A rocket fell and cut them apart.”
“I know some of them. They were from Al-Helou family who left their homes in Shujayea (east Gaza city, where massive artillery fire destroyed neighbourhoods). They came here and rented an apartment last week,” al-Derby said.
Of course, this is not the first time Gaza’s children have paid the ultimate price for daring to do what no child should fear doing – playing with their friends and family. On July 16, Ismail Mahmoud Bakir, 9, Ahed Atef Bakir, 10, Zakariya Ahed Bakir, 10, and Mohammad Ramiz Bakir, 11 were killed by an Israeli airstrike while playing soccer on a Gaza beach. On July 18, three Palestinian children were killed by an Israeli military attack, while they were playing on the roof of their house. According to Maan News Agency:
Brothers Jihad and Wissam were playing on the roof of their Gaza apartment with their cousin Fulla, when an Israeli strike came from the blue skies above and killed them.
Fulla, a nickname given to 10-year-old Afnan, was the eldest. All three were from the Shuheiber family, in Gaza City’s Sabra district.
After being cooped up at home for days on end, neighbors said the children were taking advantage of the relative calm that followed a brief truce between Israel and Hamas.
“They were playing on the roof,” said neighbor Raed al-Kurdi, 33, his white vest stained with blood.
The following pictures, taken by Palestinian photojournalist, Mohammed Zaanoun, capture the aftermath of the July 28 attack on children at play in Gaza: