These sixteen Palestinian children were looking forward to a summer filled with joy. They planned to play football, head to the beach and attend summer camp.
But over the course of three horrific days, Israeli forces unleashed a wave of air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, killing 45 people, including the 16 children, and wounding at least 360 others.
“There is no safe space in the Gaza Strip for Palestinian children and their families and they increasingly bear the brunt of Israel’s repeated military offensives,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the accountability programme director at the NGO Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), said in a statement.
While a ceasefire came into effect on Sunday following an agreement brokered by Egypt, Palestinians have lamented the devastating bombing campaign as more details emerge of those who died.
The Israeli army has claimed that some of the civilian casualties were killed by misfired rockets, without providing independently-verified evidence. The Palestinian health ministry says all of the people killed, including the 16 children, died as a result of Israeli air strikes.
Some families have been willing to share their stories, while others have been in a state of mourning and have asked for privacy.
Here are the names and faces of the children that died:
Alaa ِAbdullah Qaddoum, aged five
Alaa Abdullah Qaddoum was among the first casualties on Friday following Israel’s decision to launch air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.
She died on 5 August while she was playing with friends outside her home in the Shujaiya neighbourhood in the northern Gaza Strip.
Her seven-year-old brother and father were wounded in the strike.
“Alaa was an innocent five-year-old playing in the street with her brothers and cousins. What did she do to be killed?” her cousin, Abu Diab Qaddoum, told Middle East Eye.
Momen Muhammed ِAhmed al-Nairab, aged five
Momen Muhammed ِAhmed al-Nairab, five, was killed in a suspected Israeli air strike on Saturday on the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.
The camp is one of the most densely populated places on Earth and houses more than 114,000 people.
Hazem Muhammed Ali Salem, aged nine
According to documentation collected by Defence for Children International, Hazem Muhammed Ali Salem, nine, was among the four children in the blast on the Jabalia refugee camp on Saturday.
Israel says it wasn’t behind the raid, but Palestinian sources say it could not have come from anywhere else.
Ahmed Muhammed al-Nairab, aged 11
Ahmed Muhammed al-Nairab, 11, was among the four children killed on Saturday when suspected Israeli warplanes struck the Jabalia refugee camp.
Ahmed Walid Ahmed al-Farram, aged 16
Ahmed Walid Ahmed al-Farram, 16, was also killed on Saturday when suspected Israeli warplanes struck the Jabalia refugee camp.
According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa), the camp suffers from high unemployment, regular electricity cuts and a contaminated water supply.
Muhammed Iyad Muhammed Hassouna, aged 14
Muhammed Iyad Muhammed Hassouna, 14, was killed when an Israeli air strike targeted his home in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Adeeb Ahmad, an eyewitness to the attack, told MEE that at least eight people were killed in the raid.
“The house was hit without any prior notice,” Ahmad said. “Homes are overcrowded here, housing seven to eight people each, and they are so close to each other, so when one house is hit several houses around it are impacted.”
Fatma Aaed Abdulfattah Ubaid, aged 15
Fatma Aaed Abdulfattah Ubaid, 15, was among nine children killed in the space of 30 minutes, shortly before the ceasefire was announced on Sunday.
Ubaid was killed in Beit Hanoun on Sunday in the northern Gaza Strip.
Ahmed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, aged nine
Muhammed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, aged 12
Dalia Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, aged 13
An Israeli air strike on the Bureij refugee camp on Sunday killed Yasser al-Nabahin and his three children, Muhammed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, 13 (left); Ahmed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, nine (centre); and their sister, Dalia Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, 13 (right).
Muhammed Salah Nijm, aged 16
A suspected Israeli air strike on the Falluja cemetery in northern Gaza on Sunday killed five boys as they sat near a grave.
Muhammed Salah Nijm, 16, was among those killed.
Hamed Haidar Hamed Nijm, aged 16
Hamed Haidar Hamed Nijm, 17, was among those killed in Sunday’s raid on the graveyard. Eyewitness Mohammad Sami told MEE that four of the boys were cousins and the fifth was their friend.
“They come to sit here every day,” Sami said. “This is a safe area.”
Jamil Nijm Jamil Nijm, aged four
Jamil Nijm Jamil Nijm was the youngest child to be killed during Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip. He was only four years old.
Jamil Ihab Nijm, aged 13
Jamil Ihab Nijm, 13, was the fourth child from the Nijm family to be killed in Sunday’s suspected air strike.
Nazmi Fayez Abdulhadi Abukarsh, aged 16
Nazmi Fayez AbdulhadiAbukarsh, 16, a friend of the Nijm boys, was killed in the suspected air strike on the graveyard.
Hanin Walid Muhammed Abuqaida, aged 10
Hanin Walid Muhammed Abuqaida, 10, was injured in an air strike on the Jabalia refugee camp on Sunday but succumbed to her wounds on Monday.
She was 10 years old.
Disclaimer: Gaza: The names and faces of the 16 Palestinian children killed by Israel - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view