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Photographing the Children of Gaza

(Blog author's warning: disturbing and graphic images below)

 Three-year-old Sayed Mansour Abou Warda is one of the  many children   suffering from the white phosphorus attacks. (Inset)  Sabah Abou Halimah, a burn victim who also lost her husband and children.
Three-year-old Sayed Mansour Abou Warda is one of the many children suffering from the white phosphorus attacks. (Inset) Sabah Abou Halimah, a burn victim who also lost her husband and children.

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Abdul Rahim Abu Halima, 14, (wearing a yellow T-shirt) was killed when his home was hit by a white phosphorous artillery shell on 4 January. He died with two of his brothers, Zayed, eight, and Hamza, six, his sister Shahed, who was 15 months old, and their father Saad Allah, 45. “He was a very active boy, a little bit nervous sometimes, but he was good at football,” said his brother Mahmoud, 20. “I loved him so very much. He was a wonderful boy.”

Photograph: Family photograph

Adham Mutair, 17, was shot at his home near Beit Lahiya, Gaza, on 9 January. Israeli tanks had taken up positions around the houses and Adham was shot when he went onto the roof to check the family’s pigeons. He died the next day. “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.”

Photograph: Family photograph

Amal Abed Rabbo, two, pictured after she died in an attack at the village of Izbit Abed Rabbo, on January 7, 2009. According to her father Khalid, 30, Amal and her sister Souad, seven, were killed by gunfire from an Israeli tank after soldiers ordered the family out of their house. Another sister, Samer, four, survived the attack but is paralysed below the waist. “Amal was just learning to talk,” said Khalid. “I want to know from the Israeli army: why did they kill my daughters?”

Photograph: Family photograph

Amira Qirm, 15, in her bed at Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Amira was injured in an Israeli attack that killed her father, brother and sister

Photograph: Rory McCarthy

Lina Hassan, 10, was killed by an Israeli shell which hit her as she walked to the shops next to a UN school in Jabaliya on 6 January. “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 … Was my daughter Hamas? Do you think a 10-year-old even knows the difference between Hamas and Fatah?”

Photograph: Family photograph

Mohammad Shaqoura, 9, was also killed by 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. “I try to talk about him as much as possible with my other children. But it’s hard for them to understand.”

Photograph: Family photograph

Ghaida Abu Eisha, eight, who was killed along with her parents and two brothers when an Israeli missile struck her home in Shamali on 5 January. Saber Abu Eisha, 49, the children’s uncle, said: “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. She liked to dress up, wearing a bride’s dress, showing off.”

Photograph: Family photograph

Mohammad Abu Eisha, 10, was also killed in the Israeli missile strike on his family’s home in Shamali on 5 January. Two children survived: Dalal, 12, and Ahmed, five. Both are deeply traumatised. “Whenever they hear a loud noise they fall to the ground,” said their uncle Saber Abu Eisha. “Sometimes I think it’s easier for the people who are dead and it’s harder for those who are living.”

Photograph: Family photograph

Sayyd Abu Eisha, 12, the third child killed when an Israeli missile struck the house of the Abu Eisha family in Shamali. Surviving family members searching in the darkness using the lights from their mobile phones until they found their bodies lying in rubble outside the house.
Photograph: Family photograph

Shahed Abu Sultan, eight, was killed by a bullet apparently fired from a helicopter as she sat on her father’s lap at the doorway to their home in the Jabaliya refugee camp on 5 January. 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.” Photograph: Family photograph

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Mohammed Kutkut, 14, covered his face as he sat next to a sign for his slain friend, Ahed Qaddas, in Jebaliya, Gaza Strip.
Mohammed Kutkut, 14, covered his face as he sat next to a sign for his slain friend, Ahed Qaddas, in Jebaliya, Gaza Strip. (Anja Niedringhaus/ Associated Press)

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Palestinian children in Jebaliya, on the Gaza Strip, drew fire-spewing tanks and other scenes they witnessed when Israel's war on Hamas came to their neighborhood.
Palestinian children in Jebaliya, on the Gaza Strip, drew fire-spewing tanks and other scenes they witnessed when Israel's war on Hamas came to their neighborhood. (Anja Niedringhaus/ Associated Press)

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Nisreen Kookca (8), whose leg was injured by the blast from a shell fired from an Israeli gunboat, receives attention in Shifa hospital yesterday. Fishing is one of the main sources of food and income for many people but, despite the ceasefire, Israeli gunboats are still enforcing a sea blockade and firing shells at the shoreline.

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Azza Zidane el-Banneh claims her daughter Fatma was burned by white phosphorus
Azza Zidane el-Banneh claims her daughter Fatma was burned by white phosphorus

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Women protesting with Palestinian flags in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo
Women protesting with Palestinian flags in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo

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A Palestinian woman waits at a UN food distribution centre in Gaza City yesterday

A Palestinian woman waits at a UN food distribution centre in Gaza City yesterday

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infantdied.jpg

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JPG - 16.1 kb
A Palestinian woman with severe facial injuries from a Dime bomb
JPG - 35.5 kb
Suspected DIME injury from 2006, Gaza
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