Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Palestinian boy sits amid the ruins of his family's house

18-01-2009. A Palestinian boy sits amid the ruins of his family's house, which was destroyed by Israel's military operations, in Jabalya, Northern Gaza. Reuters, S. Salem

People search for bodies of those killed

18-01-2009. People search for bodies of those killed, during Israel's military operations, in Gaza City. Reuters, S. Salem

A chicken farm destroyed by Israeli strikes

Gaza City, January 18, A Palestinian man walking past a chicken farm destroyed by Israeli strikes. Photographed by Mahmoud Hams. AFP - Getty Images

An old woman retrieves remaining items from her destroyed home

An old woman retrieves remaining items from her destroyed home after it was shelled during an Israeli air raid. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

A Palestinian boy from al-Shamali family holds a doll found in the rubble of his home

A Palestinian boy from al-Shamali family holds a doll found in the rubble of his home, which was destroyed following an air raid in Beit Lahiya, Northern Gaza Strip. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

Young boys related to abu Salem, at his funeral

Young boys related to abu Salem, at his funeral. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

Mohammed, 3, comforted by his mother during his uncle's funeral

Mohammed, 3, comforted by his mother during his uncle's funeral. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

Relatives mourn the death of Anwer abu Salem, killed in an air raid outside his house in Beit Lahiya

Relatives mourn the death of Anwer abu Salem, who was killed in an air raid outside his house in Beit Lahiya, Northern Gaza Strip. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

A sister wails as she sees the remains of her brother's house

Anwer abu Salem's sister - Halima al-Shamali - wails as she inspects the remains of her brother's house. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

A father mourns his son's death

A father of Anwer abu Salem mourns his son's death. Photograph by Eman Mohammed - Save the Children

A Palestinian woman's reaction to relatives killed by Israel

Palestinian woman reacts after seeing the body of a relative killed in an Israeli missile strike at Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, Northern Gaza Strip. Photograph by Fadi Edwan - AP, January 17, 2009.

Describing the details

Day 17 of the massacre. A Palestinian boy describes the details of an Israeli shilling over his house that led to to loosing his sight. Aljazeera

Human Rights Watch said: It was clear Israel had fired shells containing white phosphorous.

A Palestenian boy loses his sight

A Palestenian boy describes the details of an Israeli shilling over his house that led to loosing his sight. Al Jazeera

Death of six of Al-Batran family members, most are children

Al-Batran family (Death of six of its members, most are children). Ages: various - Date of death: January 16, 2009. Place of Death: Al-Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza Strip. Weapon type: air strike on their home. Cause of death: A mother and her five children of Al-Batran family were killed Friday afternoon in an Israeli air strike on their home in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp in central Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources identified the dead as the 30-year-old Manal, and her children 12-years-old Wala, 8-years-old Izz Ad-Din, 10-year-old Bilal, 11-year-old Islam, and 7-years-old Ihsan. Islamonline.

Medics examine the damage of a burned room inside a hospital

Medics examine the damage of a burned room inside a hospital. The UN says that Israeli shells struck three hospitals, including al-Quds hospital, on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2009. BBC

Patients lying in corridors

Patients lying in the corridors of al-Quds hospital. AFP photo

A doctor carrying the remains of an Iraeli shell

A doctor carrying the remains of an Iraeli shell, after it hit al-Quds hospital, Jan. 16, 2009. - AFP photo

Al-Quds hospital was hit by Israeli strikes

January 16, Gaza City, Palestinian men ride their motocycles past al-Quds hospital after it was hit by Israeli strikes. Photograph by Mehdi Fedouach AFP - Getty Images

Palestinian firefighters try to put out a fire and save bags of food aid at the United Nations Headquarters

Palestinian firefighters work to try and put out a fire and save bags of food aid at the United Nations Headquarters after an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City, thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Photo by Hatem Moussa - AP

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the death toll from the Israeli war on Hamas has become unbearable

January 15, 2009. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that the death toll from the Israeli war on Hamas in Gaza, now nearing 1,000, has become unbearable. AFP

United Nations staff inspects a lump of burning matter ...

United Nations staff inspects a lump of burning matter at their bombed compound, which Human Rights Watch says appears to be white phosphorous, although, Israel has denied using it in built-up areas. BBC

Human Rights Watch analyst: White phosphorous air-burst shells have a unique visual signature

Human Rights Watch analyst, Marc Garlasco, says white phosphorous air-burst shells have a unique visual signature and they have been fired dozens of times over Gaza. BBC

The Head of the UN aid agency accused Israeli military of firing white phosphorous

The Head of the United Nations aid agency in Gaza has accused the Israeli military of firing what was believed to be white phosphorous shells at its compound. Jan. 15, 2009. BBC

UN workers and Palestinian firefighters put out fire and save bags of food aid

United Nations workers and Palestinian firefighters trying to put out fire and save bags of food aid at its Headquarters after an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Photo by Hatem Moussa - AP

Smoke rises from the United Nations Headquarters

Smoke rises from the United Nations Headquarters, after it was hit in an Isreli bombardment in Gaza City, Thursday, January 15, 2009. Photograph by Hatem Moussa - AP

A United Nations worker surveys the damage from an Israeli bombardment at the United nations Headquarters in Gaza City

A United Nations worker surveys the damage from an Israeli bombardment at the United nations Headquarters in Gaza City, Thursday, January 15, 2009. Photograph by Hatem Moussa - AP

Palestinian hospital over-crowded

Palestenian hospitals over-occupied - BBC

Damage in the Sheihk Radwan area.

Gaza City, January 14, Palestinians inspect damage in the Sheihk Radwan area Photograph by Hatem Moussa - AP

Ra'ad Asfour with more than sixty stetches in his body

Ra'ad Asfour with more than sixty stetches in his body, is in Egypt for treatment. His house was totally destroyed. islamonline

Israelis bombed the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt

The Israelis bombed the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Jan. 14, 2009. BBC

Destroyed streets in Rafah

A man walks in the destroyed streets of Salah El-Din in Rafah. 14-01-2009. BBC

Palestinian medics wheel a man wounded in an Israeli missile strike

Palestinian medics wheel a man wounded in an Israeli missile strike into a hospital in Rafah in Rafah. Jan.14, 2009. BBC

Palestinians inspect damage

Gaza City, January 14, Palestinians inspect damage. Photograph by Hatem Moussa - AP

Palestinians cover their faces as smoke rises ...

Gaza City, January 14, Palestinians cover their faces as smoke rises from an air force strike. Photograph by Abid Katib - Getty Images

An Israeli air force attack

Gaza City, January 14, An Israeli air force attack. Photograph by Abid Katib - Getty Images

Smoke rises following explosion

Gaza City, January 14, Smoke rises following an explosion. photograph by Khalil Hamra - AP

Israeli soldier prays near spent ammunition

Israel, January 14, An Israeli soldier prays near spent ammunition as his unit prepares to enter the northern Gaza Strip. Photograph Jerry Lampen - Reuters

Palestinians outside the morgue at Kamal Adwan hospital

Beit Lahiya, Gaza, January 14, Palestinians outside the morgue at Kamal Adwan hospital react upon news of the death of relatives. Photograph by Fadi Adwan - AP

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gazan children denied treatment abroad, Jonathan Cook, The National

This article appeared in The National today... Shows just how far people are willing to go to prove "who's in control", even far enough to put kids' lives on the line; kids who are just struggling to make it after all they've been through...

Gazan children denied treatment abroad

Jonathan Cook
The National
January 28. 2009

JERUSALEM // For four days running, an ambulance has driven 15-year-old Amira Ghirim from Shifa Hospital in Gaza to the Rafah border in the hope that she will be allowed to cross into Egypt and then on to France, where she has been promised emergency surgery.

Amira’s left arm and thigh were crushed and her internal organs damaged by falling rubble when a shell hit her home in the Tel al Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City in the final days of Israel’s offensive. The attack killed her father, brother and sister, leaving her an orphan.

But, despite her urgent need for surgery, Amira has been turned away at the border each time, said her aunt, Mona Ghirim. “Each morning we arrived at the crossing and the Egyptian soldiers cursed us and told us to go away.”

Ms Ghirim said Amira’s condition has been deteriorating because of the long periods out of hospital. Yesterday, after hearing news that the border would remain shut, they decided to abandon the journey. “She is very ill and these futile trips are not helping.”

Amira is one of four children who have been offered potentially life-saving surgery by a team of doctors in France. But she and the other children appear to be victims of a bureaucratic wrangle involving the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Egypt.

Mohammed Salem, the head of a medical group based in France known as Pal Med, was among the doctors accompanying the children through the crossing last Friday. He said the doctors had been allowed through, but the ambulances carrying the children were blocked. When the doctors tried to return, they were denied entry into Gaza.

“We do not know why the children were refused,” he said. “We had organised all the relevant papers and documents. We were told once we passed through Rafah that the ambulance carrying the children would be allowed to follow.”

The reason appears to be a sudden change of policy by the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah, which issued a statement the day before the four children tried to leave Gaza saying that it believed there was “no more reason to refer any more children for treatment abroad”.

Nearly 1,300 Palestinians were killed and a further 5,300 injured during Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza.

In the days immediately after Israel’s declaration of a ceasefire on Jan 18, hundreds of seriously wounded Gazans were transferred through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. Many are being treated in Egyptian hospitals, and others have been sent abroad.

But in recent cases, Egyptian officials appear to have preferred to abide by the wishes of the Palestinian health ministry than create diplomatic friction.

Two of the four children, Hazem Abu Odeh, 12, and Iman Khadum, nine, need surgery to stop bleeding from their kidneys.

The fourth, Alla Abu Dagan, 16, suffered multiple fractures and abdominal wounds from a shell blast.

A diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Amira and the other children had probably been caught in a political row resulting from the split between the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, and the Hamas government in Gaza.

“The PA wants to show it is exercising authority in Gaza, too. It is using its control over the international medical aid reaching Gaza as a way to show it is in charge and making things happen,” the source said.

The Palestinian health ministry was unavailable for comment.

Ms Ghirim said her niece had been through a terrible trauma. “After the house was shelled, she crawled out of the building to get help, but found the street deserted. She slept out in the open and told me she could hear the voices of soldiers speaking Hebrew all night.

“In the morning she crawled 500 metres to another house to hide. She stayed there until she was eventually found when the owner returned home. He said she was in a shocking condition, covered in blood and dust.”

International medical organisations have been carrying out their own assessments of conditions inside Gaza over the past few days. The World Health Organization is due to issue a report in the coming days.

A team of 12 Israeli Arab doctors from Physicians for Human Rights returned on Sunday. They warned that Gaza’s health care system had been stretched to its very limits and that wounded patients were at risk of dying.

Riyad Haddad, a surgeon at the Carmiel Medical Centre in Haifa, said: “There has been a lot of medical aid, but the treatment doctors are able to offer has been severely compromised by Gaza’s many months of being cut off from the rest of the world.”

He said technicians lacked training to operate modern hospital equipment, doctors had not attended medical seminars on the latest developments in their fields, and there was a severe shortage of trained nursing teams.

He also said that Gaza lacked the psychologists needed to deal with the vast scale of mental trauma inflicted on the population.

Of the thousands of injured, more than 600 would be left with permanent disabilities, he said. “Gaza badly needs proper rehabilitation centres to cope with that number of disabled.”

Dr Haddad said many of Gaza’s doctors he spoke with had reported unusual and difficult-to-treat injuries that appeared to be the result of Israel using experimental weapons during the offensive.

He also warned that unexploded ordnance was already claiming the lives of children, who were playing with munitions lying among the rubble. Last weekend the International Committee of the Red Cross said unexploded ordnance posed a “major new danger” to the civilian population.

Gaza may yet face major epidemics such as cholera that could claim many more lives, Dr Haddad said. “Although most of the bodies have been recovered from the rubble, you can see and smell that there are dead animals – sheep, goats, dogs and cats – everywhere.”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Human Face of Genocide

Al Jazeera has obtained the names of 210 of the young Palestinian victims of Israeli genocide. This is an incomplete list.
Take note of families with multiple losses. For example, one woman lost all four of her daughters. These are not just names or statistics, these children were alive, with stories to tell, games to play and futures to lead ... a future which Israel is attempting to assure never arrives.

Ibtihal Kechko Girl 10
Ahmed Riad Mohammed Al-Sinwar Boy 3
Ahmed Al-Homs Boy 18
Ahmed Rasmi Abu Jazar Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Halabi Boy 18
Tamer Hassan Al-Akhrass Boy 5
Hassan Ali Al-Akhrass Boy 3
Haneen Wael Mohammed Daban Girl 15
Khaled Sami Al-Astal Boy 15
alaat Mokhless Bassal Boy 18
Aaed Imad Kheera Boy 14
Abdullah Al-Rayess Boy 17
Odai Hakeem Al-Mansi Boy 4
Allam Nehrou Idriss Boy 18
Ali Marwan Abu Rabih Boy 18
Anan Saber Atiyah Boy 13
Camelia Al-Bardini Girl 10
Lama Talal Hamdan Girl 10
Mohammed Jaber Howeij Boy 17
Nimr Mustafa Amoom Boy 10


Ismail Talal Hamdan Boy 10
Ahmed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Ahmed Youssef Khello Boy 18
Ikram Anwar Baaloosha Girl 14
Tahrier Anwar Baaloosha Girl 17
Jihad Saleh Ghobn Boy 10
Jawaher Anwar Baaloosha Girl 8
Dina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Samar Anwar Baaloosha Girl 6
Shady Youssef Ghobn Boy 12
Sudqi Ziad Al-Absi Boy 3
Imad Nabeel Abou Khater Boy 16
Lina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Mohammed Basseel Madi Boy 17
Mohammed Jalal Abou Tair Boy 18
Mohammed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Mahmoud Nabeel Ghabayen Boy 15
Moaz Yasser Abou Tair Boy 6
Wissam Akram Eid Girl 14


Haya Talal Hamdan Girl 8


Ahmed Kanouh Boy 10
Ameen Al-Zarbatlee Boy 10
Mohammed Nafez Mohaissen Boy 10
Mustafa Abou Ghanimah Boy 16
Yehya Awnee Mohaissen Boy 10
Ossman Bin Zaid Nizar Rayyan Boy 3
Assaad Nizar Rayyan Boy 2
Moaz-Uldeen Allah Al-Nasla Boy 5
Aya Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Halima Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
Reem Nizar Rayyan Boy 4
Aicha Nizar Rayyan Girl 3
Abdul Rahman Nizar Rayyan Boy 6
Abdul Qader Nizar Rayyan Boy 12
Oyoon Jihad Al-Nasla Girl 16
Mahmoud Mustafa Ashour Boy 13
Maryam Nizar Rayyan Girl 5


Hamada Ibrahim Mousabbah Boy 10
Zeinab Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Sujud Mahmoud Al-Derdesawi Girl 10
Abdul Sattar Waleed Al-Astal Boy 12
Abed Rabbo Iyyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 10
Ghassan Nizar Rayyan Boy 15
Christine Wadih El-Turk Boy 6
Mohammed Mousabbah Boy 14
Mohammed Iyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 13
Mahmoud Samsoom Boy 16
Ahmed Tobail Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 17
Hassan Hejjo Boy 14 R
ajeh Ziadeh Boy 18
Shareef Abdul Mota Armeelat Boy 15
Mohammed Moussa Al-Silawi Boy 10
Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abou Nahel Boy 16
Mohannad Al-Tatnaneeh Boy 18
Hani Mohammed Al-Silawi Boy

10 01/01/2009

Ahmed Al-Meshharawi Boy 16
Ahmed Khodair Sobaih Boy 17
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 18
Asraa Kossai Al-Habash Girl 10
Assad Khaled Al-Meshharawi Boy 17
Asmaa Ibrahim Afana Girl 12
Ismail Abdullah Abou Sneima Boy 4
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 18
Aya Ziad Al-Nemr Girl 8
Ahmed Mohammed Al-Adham Boy 1
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 13
Hamza Zuhair Tantish Boy 12
Khalil Mohammed Mokdad Boy 18
Ruba Mohammed Fadl Abou-Rass Girl 13
Ziad Mohammed Salma Abou Sneima Boy 9
Shaza Al-Abed Al-Habash Girl 16
Abed Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 12
Attia Rushdi Al-Khawli Boy 16
Luay Yahya Abou Haleema Boy 17
Mohammed Akram Abou Harbeed Boy 18
Mohammed Abed Berbekh Boy 18
Mohammed Faraj Hassouna Boy 16
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Mashharawi Boy 12
Mahmoud Zahir Tantish Boy 17
Mahmoud Sami Assliya Boy 3
Moussa Youssef Berbekh Boy 16
Wi'am Jamal Al-Kafarneh Girl 2
Wadih Ayman Omar Boy 4
Youssef Abed Berbekh Boy

10 05/01/2009

Ibrahim Rouhee Akl Boy 17
Ibrahim Abdullah Merjan Boy 13
Ahmed Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Aya Youssef Al-Defdah Girl 13
Aya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Ahmed Amer Abou Eisha Boy 5
Ameen Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Hazem Alewa Boy 8
Khalil Mohammed Helless Boy 12
Diana Mosbah Saad Girl 17
Raya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Rahma Mohammed Al-Semouni Girl 18
Ramadan Ali Felfel Boy 14
Rahaf Ahmed Saeed Al-Azaar Girl 4
Shahad Mohammed Hijjih Girl 3
Arafat Mohammed Abdul Dayem Boy 10
Omar Mahmoud Al-Baradei Boy 12
Ghaydaa Amer Abou Eisha Girl 6
Fathiyya Ayman Al-Dabari Girl 4
Faraj Ammar Al-Helou Boy 2
Moumen Alewah Boy 9
Moumen Mahmoud Talal Alaw Boy 10
Mohammed Amer Abu Eisha Boy 8
Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Kamar Boy 15
Marwan Hein Kodeih Girl 6
Montasser Alewah Boy 12
Naji Nidal Al-Hamlawi Boy 16
Nada Redwan Mardi Girl 5
Hanadi Bassem Khaleefa Girl 13


Ibrahim Ahmed Maarouf Boy 14
Ahmed Shaher Khodeir Boy 14
Ismail Adnan Hweilah Boy 15
Aseel Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Adam Mamoun Al-Kurdee Boy 3
Alaa Iyad Al-Daya Girl 8
Areej Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 3 months
Amani Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 4
Baraa Ramez Al-Daya Girl 2
Bilal Hamza Obaid Boy 15
Thaer Shaker Karmout Boy 17
Hozaifa Jihad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Khitam Iyad Al-Daya Girl 9
Rafik Abdul Basset Al-Khodari Boy 15
Raneen Abdullah saleh Girl 12
Zakariya Yahya Al-Taweel Boy 5
Sahar Hatem Dawood Girl 10
Salsabeel Ramez Al-Daya Girl 6 months S
harafuldeen Iyad Al-Daya Boy 7
Doha Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 5
Ahed Iyad Kodas Boy 15
Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah Boy 10
Issam Sameer Deeb Boy 12
Alaa Ismail Ismail Boy 18
Ali Iyad Al-Daya Boy 10
Imad Abu Askar Boy 18
Filasteen Al-Daya Girl 5
Kamar Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 3
Lina Abdul Menem Hassan Girl 10
Unidentified Boy 9
Unidentified Boy 15
Mohammed Iyad Al-Daya Boy 6
Mohammed Bassem Shakoura Boy 10
Mohammed Bassem Eid Boy 18
Mohammed Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Eid Boy 18
Mustafa Moeen Deeb Boy 12
Noor Moeen Deeb Boy 2
Youssef Saad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Youssef Mohammed Al-Daya Boy

1 07/01/2009
Ibrahim Kamal Awaja Boy 9
Ahmed Jaber Howeij Boy 7
Ahmed Fawzi Labad Boy 18
Ayman Al-Bayed Boy 16
Amal Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 3
Toufic Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 10
Habeeb Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 12
Houssam Raed Sobeh Boy 12
Hassan Rateb Semaan Boy 18
Hassan Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 2
Redwan Mohammed Ashoor Boy 10
Suad Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 6
Samar Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 2
Abdul Rahman Mohammmed Ashoor Boy 12
Fareed Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 13
Mohammed Khaled Al-Kahloot Boy 15
Mohammed Samir Hijji Boy 16
Mohammed Fareed Al-Maasawabi Boy 16
Mohammed Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Nasseem Salama Saba Boy 16
Mahmoud Hameed Boy 17
Hamam Issa Boy 1


Anas Arif Abou Baraka Boy 7
Ibrahim Akram Abou Dakkka Boy 12
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Baraa Iyad Shalha Girl 6
Basma Yasser Al-Jeblawi Girl 5
Shahd Saad Abou Haleema Girl 15
Azmi Diab Boy 16
Mohammed Akram Abou Dakka Boy 14
Mohammed Hikmat Abou Haleema Boy 17
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Matar Saad Abou Haleema Boy 17


Ahmed Ibrahim Abou Kleik Boy 17
Ismail Ayman Yasseen Boy 18
Alaa Ahmed Jaber Girl 11
Baha-Uldeen Fayez Salha Girl 5
Rana Fayez Salha Girl 12
Rola Fayez Salha Girl 13
Diyaa-Uldeen Fayez Salah Boy 14
Ghanima Sultan Halawa Girl 11
Fatima Raed Jadullah Girl 10
Mohammed Atef Abou Al-Hussna Boy 15

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gaza - the city of dead children

Abdul Rahim Abu Halima, 14, (wearing a yellow T-shirt)
Abdul Rahim Abu Halima, 14, was killed when his home was hit by an Israeli white phosphorus artillery shell in Atatra, in north-eastern Gaza on 4 January. He died along with two of his brothers, Zayed, eight, and Hamza, six, his sister Shahed, who was 15-months-old, and their father, Saad Allah, 45, who was sheltering them in his arms in the hallway when the shell struck. The inside walls of the house are still blackened and pieces of shrapnel and shell casing are spread across the hallway beneath a gaping hole in the roof. "He was a very active boy, a little bit nervous sometimes, but he was good at football," said his brother Mahmoud, 20. "He played with the neighbours and was in a team at school. We shared a room together and he was always trying to get me out of there. I loved him so very much. He was a wonderful boy."

Mohammad Abu Halima, 16, a cousin of Abdul Rahim, was shot dead by Israeli troops as he tried to take his injured relatives from the burning house in Atatra to hospital on 4 January. He was in the house next door when the shell struck and ran to try to help another cousin, Matar, loading up the injured on the back of a tractor. Both boys were killed. "He was still at school," said his father, Hikmat, 42. "He wanted to go abroad after school to study at university. He was a quiet boy, very obedient and did whatever I asked him." Many of the houses in Atatra were left burnt out or destroyed. "They came in here as if they were fighting a country like America," said Mohammad's aunt, Suhaida. 40. "But we're not fighters, just civilians. We're only Gaza."

The Abu Eisha family At about 1am on 5 January, an Israeli air strike hit the house of the Abu Eisha family in Gaza City. The missile dropped through the top floors of the house, detonating on the first floor where most of the family was sleeping. Among the dead were Ghaida, eight, and her brothers, Mohammad, 10, and Sayyd, 12. The survivors spent a long time searching in the darkness using only the lights from their mobile phones until they found the bodies lying in rubble outside the house. Their parents died alongside them. Saber Abu Eisha, 49, the children's uncle, was in the basement with about 24 others from the family, who all survived. "Ghaida was in the second grade at school. She was like any little girl, she was pretty, she loved to play. Sometimes she was laughing, sometimes she was crying," said her uncle. "She liked to dress up, wearing a bride's dress, showing off. Her brother Mohammad was always fixing bicycles and Sayyd used to talk about how he wanted to be a pilot." The family was not wealthy: their father once worked as a labourer in Israel but had been unemployed or an occasional taxi driver for many years. He and his brothers had been building the only part-finished family house for the last 20 years.

The Abu Eishas still cannot understand why their house was targeted, except that there are open areas nearby where militants have launched rockets in the past. Several other houses nearby were also badly damaged in the war. "It's all a result of political failure," said Saber. Two children from the family survived: Dalal, 12, and Ahmed, five. Both are deeply traumatised. "Whenever they hear a loud noise, they fall to the ground," said Saber. "Sometimes I think it's easier for the people who are dead and it's harder for those who are living."

Amal Abed Rabbo, two, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers outside her family's five-storey house in the village of Izbit Abed Rabbo, in eastern Gaza, on 7 January. Shortly after midday, soldiers from an Israeli tank ordered the family out of the house, according to her father, Khalid, 30. There was gunfire from the tank and Amal and her sister Souad, seven, were killed immediately. Another sister, Samer, four, was severely injured – she is now paralysed in hospital in Belgium. Later, the soldiers demolished the house. When she was shot, Amal was carrying her favourite toy, a brown bear, which still lay in the ruins yesterday. Khalid, a policeman under the pre-Hamas authority, said: "Israel knows very well that no one in this house belonged to Hamas. I want to know from the Israeli army: why did they kill my daughters? What have they done?"

Shahed Abu Sultan, eight, was sitting on her father's lap mid-morning on 5 January, just outside the entrance to their small home in the Jabaliya refugee camp. An Israeli helicopter was flying overhead and, according to the family, was shooting down towards their houses. Shahed was hit by a single bullet to the head that killed her instantly. She was one of 10 children. Her father, Hussein, 40, wrote a message to his daughter which hangs on their sitting room wall: "I cried a sea of tears for you but those tears have not calmed my heart because you left, my daughter. I have no tears remaining, but my heart wants to go on crying blood, my daughter, my beloved Shahed. Your smooth smile, your sweet and angelic face, we miss you with each moment, our darling. My daughter Shahed died once, but I die a million times a day... My heartache will go on for ever."

Adham Mutair, 17, was shot by Israeli troops at his home near Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, on 9 January. Israeli tanks had taken up positions in the area around the houses and the family had been trapped inside their home for a week. Adham went upstairs to the roof to check on their pigeons, which were housed in a large hut. As he stepped out into the open, he was shot three times and collapsed. Two of his brothers carried him out of the house along a back route. Using a motorcycle and then a car, they carried him to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He died the next day. Most of the family could not get out of the house to make it to the burial. "We haven't even had a chance to set up a funeral tent to mourn him properly," said his uncle, Khader, 53. "I don't think the rest of the world understands how painful our lives are here."
Lina Hassan, 10, was killed by an Israeli shell which hit her as she walked to the shops next to the UN school in Jabaliya on January 6. "She asked me for a shekel to go to the shops to buy something for her and her brothers and sisters," said her father, Abdul, 37. "I heard the shell and I ran out. I saw her body lying on the ground - part of her head was missing." Lina was the eldest of six children. "They are targeting the Palestinian people. Was my daughter Hamas? Do you think a 10-year-old even knows the difference between Hamas and Fatah?" Abdul's younger children have asked him repeatedly about their sister. "I told them she is up in heaven and one of them said: 'I want to go and stay with her up there'."

Mohammad Shaqoura, nine, was killed by the Israeli shelling at the UN school in Jabaliya on 6 January. He was playing marbles in the street outside with his friends in the middle of the afternoon. "I went to help the injured. I didn't realise Mohammad was one of them," said his father, Basim, 40. As he was helping one young man, he turned and saw his own son lying dead on the road. "The injury was in the back of his dead. He was lying with his face on the ground," he said. "Mohammad was the best of children. Anything I asked him to do he would do. On the day before he died. he was watching a religious television programme for children called Birds of Paradise. He asked me: 'Those wings on the birds, are they martyrs' wings?' I try to talk about him as much as possible with my other children. But it's hard for them to understand."

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Haleema was a very beautiful Palestinian child. She was in Egypt for two weeks last year to visit her brother who was receiving medical treatment in an Egyptian hospital.

These first two photos were taken for Haleema during her visit to Egypt.

Now see Haleema after an Israeli raid

Haleema was killed along with her father and 15 members of her family.