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In Gaza, 3 children killed playing on roof
Published Friday 18/07/2014 (updated) 18/07/2014 21:46
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Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli air strike in
Gaza City on July 12, 2014.(AFP/Thomas Coex)

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- 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.

"We were sitting on our roof next to our neighbor's one and we found all of a sudden a rocket coming from above and it hit their roof," he added.

"The people who were injured were from the Shuheiber family, there were children, two girls, two boys and two grown men.

"They were in serious condition, we carried them out in our arms."

Three of the children died en route to the Shifa hospital, where they were laid out on steel tables in the morgue as doctors in blue coats moved around them, cleaning them.

Each had coin-sized pieces of flesh gouged out from their limbs by shrapnel.

Next to them, their uncle Mohamed wept openly.

An employee at the hospital, he heard the call go out for ambulances after the strike that hit the Shuheiber home.

"They were children, just playing on the roof. And now they're dead, lying in front of us," he said, his voice anguished but also angry.

"How can this be, how can this be?"

The morgue chief asked the distraught family members if they want to allow media waiting outside into the room.

"It is up to you, but if you want to show the world what happened here, we will let them in," he told Mohamed and other relatives inside, who assented tearfully.

The three children were lined up beside each other, along with a fourth child brought in from an earlier strike in Gaza City.

Fulla was laid in the middle and her cousins one on either side.

Her curly hair framed her face, specked with blood.

Her T-shirt might once have been white, but now it was completely red, soaked through with her blood.

To her right was 8-year-old Jihad, his turquoise T-shirt and trousers torn through by shrapnel.

To her left was Wissam, seven years old, his eyes still open as through he was staring into the middle distance.

His trousers had been removed, revealing his blue and yellow superhero underwear.
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1 ) Mel / USA
18/07/2014 03:47
Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide,from Israel's NAZISM!
UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE!

2 ) One / Question
18/07/2014 04:43
Why would Hamas care about lost lives? They need to produced more pictures of the dead palestinian children to advance propaganda war. All Hamas leaders are hiding in bunkers and tunnels while regular palestinians are left to die under bombs. Hamas likes to tell that they are prepared for the war - why did not they prepare bunkers and bomb shelter for Gaza civilians?

3 ) Everett / Canada
18/07/2014 08:36
Heartbreaking to see innocent children killed.

4 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
18/07/2014 10:07
#2 Stop killing children, women and elderly then Palestinians don't have to put their pictures on internet fool. They don't get building material for bunkers? They don't use children as human shields like "Israelis" always claim, they just live in Gaza, 40 km big, 1.800000 people,where would they go without civilians around? But he, it looks nice to blame the victims isn't it? Hamas cares, "Israelis" don't. Look at facebook, "Only 4 children killed? we want 40.000 killed" etc. Sick!

5 ) Anwar / Qatar
18/07/2014 14:30
@4 - Sarah, I agree with your comments. The only thing I would add, is that Hamas fighters probably remain hidden in order to minimise loss of civilian life. Gaza is densely populated, we have already seen how Israel conducts the extra judicial killings (assassinations) of factional members (by apache/F16) when there is relative calm in Gaza. If Hamas were visible among the civilian population & targeted, then more deaths ('collateral damage' as IDF like to call it) would almost certainly occur.

6 ) Elisabeth / Netherlands
18/07/2014 15:51
When will my country start to hold Israel accountable for its crimes? I will NEVER buy anything Israeli again. Sick country and still thinking of themselves as morally superior.

7 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
19/07/2014 20:12
On July 8th AND 9th, HAMAS Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri went on Gaza City's "al Akhsa TV" and admitted that they are using civilians as Human Shields on rooftops in a calculated strategy, and asked that all Gazans cooperate. You reap what you sow. Using civilian structures in a military fashion renders them legal military targets. That is a fact. If you do not like that? Appeal to Palestinians to stop abusing their children as Human Shields and to not use civilian structures in military fashion.
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