Four children – members of the same family – playing football and hide and seek on the beach were killed by what is believed to have been gunfire from Israeli warships carrying out a blockade of Gaza.
The attack on the fishing port in Gaza City came at just after four o’clock on a sunny and clear afternoon with good visibility. The group of cousins, aged between nine and 11, were around what looked like a derelict shed when they were hit by an Israeli shell.
Dozens of Foreign correspondents staying at the al-Deira Hotel by the beach witnessed the deadly attack. Several of the reporters treated those who managed to run to the terrace of the hotel.
Human Rights Watch said today that Israeli air attacks it investigated “have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war.”
The group called on Israel to “end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property.”
Almost eighty percent of those killed in the Israeli attacks are civilians, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The United Nations reported that as of yesterday, 1,370 homes had been destroyed in Israeli attacks, directly displacing 8,200 people.
Another 18,000 people were being sheltered at UN-run schools, and 600,000 of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents were at risk of losing their water supply.
Wednesday’s carnage brought the toll since Israel began its assault to 220 Palestinians killed and 1,570 injured, the Gaza-based newspaper Filistin reported, citing the health ministry.
The latest deaths bring the number of children killed to at least forty-six.