In pictures: funeral for three children in Gaza City
With about two hours left before the traditional Iftar meal, news broke that three children had been killed in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City. Jihad (8) and Wissam (7), brothers, and their older cousin Afnan (10), had been playing on the Shueiber family’s roof Thursday evening, taking advantage of the lingering calm brought along by a 5-hour humanitarian ceasefire in the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
The ceasefire had ended around three that afternoon, but the kids, who had been shut up in the house for the past 9 days, were taking advantage of the fresh air. Their playtime was cut short, however, when an Israeli drone hovering overhead sent a ‘knock on the roof’ missile toward the family’s home.
“Roof knocks,” non-explosive missiles designed to warn families to leave their homes, some just minutes before an Israeli F16 releases its explosive payload on the structure, are a common Israeli practice in the Gaza Strip. Jihad, Wissam and Afnan never received the warning. The knock killed them.
At least 65 Palestinian children have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel began Operation Protective Edge eleven days ago, according to their Health Ministry. Maria Calivis, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, says the number of children killed thus far proves “there is no safe place for children in the Gaza Strip.”
On Thursday the funeral took place for Jihad, Wissam and Afnan.