An Israeli naval attack on Gaza City’s seaport today killed four children and injured several more Wednesday afternoon. The attack took place near the Al Deira Hotel, which is popular with journalists. As a result, there were many eyewitness to the attack.
There is a deafening explosion as it hits a structure on the pier, a place we have seen hit before, where fishermen usually store their nets. Behind the smoke, I see four figures running, silhouettes whose legs are pumping raggedly. They clear the smoke. From their size it is clear they are a man and three young boys. …
Only afterwards do we discover there are four others who are dead, all children, lying on the wall. I am shown a picture of one of the dead boys, his skin scorched and bruised. Their names are released later: Ahed Bakr, aged 10; Zakaria, 10; and two other boys from the Bakr family, both named Mohammad, aged 11 and nine.
The second shell catches the survivors as they reach the brightly coloured tents. As it explodes, my colleagues, now standing by the terrace wall, shout at unseen Israeli gunners who can’t hear them: “They are only children.”
Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed more than 200 Palestinians, including at least 162 civilians, and at least 40 children. One 37-year-old Israeli civilian was killed by mortar fire from Gaza near Erez crossing Tuesday evening.