The many children who have been murdered by Israeli soldiers in Gaza are not just statistics. They are real human beings who shared loved ones, stories and dreams. Here is a selection of pictures of some of them
On 28 July 2014, Defence for Children International Palestine reported that the death toll for the children in Gaza was 200 and rising. However, in the past day or two, the world received news that Israel had bombed a United Nations school in Gaza killing 15 people, mostly women and children. The Guardian newspaper reports, “United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law…” Meanwhile eight children were killed in a playground in Gaza strip earlier this week.
The killing of a terrified and defenceless civilian population has taken place in large numbers since Israel commenced its assault on Gaza on July 8, 2014. We should all be demanding an end to the slaughter of the people of Gaza. But the media’s cautious reporting has alleviated the horrors of this war and erased the humanity of the people of Gaza in the public’s mind.
Many of the deaths have been presented as sterile statistics. CNN’s clumsy pie chart, which shows that 826 civilians were killed by July 29 exemplifies the media's detached treatment of the on-going tragedy in Gaza. And when we are not being offered mind-numbing statistics, we are shown pictures of faceless bundled children wrapped in blood-soaked burial cloths, variously presented as civilian casualties, collateral damage or worse, human shields.
One has to trawl alternative media sites on the Internet to find the brave journalists and commentators who speak truth to power or simply write in a manner that presents Palestinians as human beings worthy of compassion.
One noteworthy new initiative is the Humanize Palestine website that’s been created to restore the humanity of those killed in Gaza. They describe their work simply as:
“(Attempting) to restore the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.”
We bring you a brief collection of photographs from Humanize Palestine showing some of the children who’ve lost their lives in recent days and weeks.
An unknown person once famously said, “A child's smile is one of life's greatest blessings.” Let us remember the fallen children of Gaza for the beautiful blessings they bestowed on the world.
ASEM KHALIL ABED (4)
Four-year-old Asem Khalil Abed Ammar was killed in the Shuja’iyya massacre in Gaza on July 20, 2014 along with his siblings 9-year-old Eman Khalil Abed Ammar and 13-years-old Ibrahim Khalil Abed Ammar.
KENAN HASSAN AL-HALLAQ (6) AND SAJI HASSAN AL-HALLAQ (4)
Six-year-old Kenan Hassan al-Hallaq (left) and his brother four-year-old Saji Hassan al-Hallaq were killed on July 20, 2014 in an Israeli attack on their house in the al-Ramal area of Gaza. The boys' mother and other members of the family were also killed in the strike. Their father, Hassan who survived the attack, said Kenan loved solving puzzles.
IMAN KHALIL ABED AMMAR (9)
Nine-year-old Iman Khalil Abed Ammar was killed on July 20, 2014 in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood.
YASMEEN NAYEF AL-YAZJI (4) AND HATEM ZAIN NAYEF AL-YAZJI (3)
Four-year-old Yasmeen Nayef al-Yazji and three-year-old Hatem Zain Nayef were killed along with their grandparents on Monday July 21, 2014. Israeli warplanes bombarded the family's house in the west of Jabalya.
SAHIR ABU NAMOUS (4)
Four-year-old Sahir Abu Namous was killed on Friday July 11, 2014 by shrapnel from a missile launched by Israel. His cousin described his killing: "He was playing and smiling next to his mother when missile shrapnel divided his head."
JIHAD ISSAM SHUHEIBER (10) AND WASEEM ISSAM SHUHEIBER (9)
Ten-year-old Jihad Issam Shuheiber and nine-year-old Waseem Issam Shuheiber were both killed with their cousin 10-year-old Afnan (Fulla) Tarek Shuheiber in an Israeli airstrike on July 17, 2014 in Gaza City. They were playing on the rooftop of their home when the attack occurred.
** All pictures and descriptions are from the Humanize Palestine website. Farouk is founder and executive director of The South African Civil Society Information Service, where this article was first published.