The Shaban family was killed by an Israeli airstrike on their home in the Al-Nasr neighborhood north of Gaza City on October 8, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. From left to right: Omar, 11, Batoul, 7, Ghada, 10, and Ahmad Nazir Shawqi Shaban. (Photos: Courtesy of the Shaban family)
Ramallah, October 9, 2023—At least 91 Palestinian children have been killed in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli military launched an offensive over the weekend, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
DCIP has confirmed the killing of at least 50 Palestinian children in direct Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip between October 7 and 9. DCIP continues to document and confirm Palestinian child fatalities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip as hostilities continue as Israeli forces unleashed a massive military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Saturday after Palestinian armed groups fired rockets toward Israel and breached the Israeli perimeter fence surrounding Gaza early on October 7, launching attacks inside Israel. Israeli forces initiated a large-scale military operation dubbed Operation Iron Swords.
“Israeli forces routinely use explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas with complete disregard for the indiscriminate effects,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Right now, Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children at an unprecedented rate over the past 48 hours as Israeli forces and warplanes target Palestinian armed group leaders taking no precautionary measures and seemingly intending to disproportionately kill and injure civilians and destroy civilian objects. 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.”
Israeli forces fired several missiles at a residential building in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City, around 8:20 p.m. on October 7, killing 10 Palestinians, including five children, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. The attack killed brothers Ibtisam Adel Awni Al-Dous, 17, Rawand Adel Awni Al-Dous,15, Ahmad Adel Awni Al-Dous, 10, and three-year-old Zaid Adel Awni Al-Dous, as well as their cousin, four-year-old Rakan Mohammad Awni Al-Dous.
Around the same time, an Israeli warplane fired one missile at a residential building in the Shaboura refugee camp in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, killing 17 Palestinians, including five children, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at a residential building around 11 p.m. on October 7 in the town of Abasan Al-Kabira, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, killing 10 Palestinians, including three children from the Abu Daqqa family, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Around 3 a.m. on October 8, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Shabat family home and killed 14 Palestinians, including seven children, in the city of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Cousins Hassan Mohammad Radwan Shabat, nine, Bayan Abdulkhaleq Radwan Shabat, 13, and three-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim Radwan Shabat were killed in the attack, in addition to brothers Ghaith Khaled Radwan Shabat, three, and Abdulkhaleq Khaled Radwan Shabat, five. Two Palestinian children living in neighboring houses, 11-year-old Mohammad Khater Maher Al-Kafarneh and 16-year-old Rula Nael Zakaria Naseer, were also killed.
Later in the morning, at 6:30 a.m. on October 8, an Israeli warplane fired several missiles at a residential building in the Al-Nasr neighborhood, north of Gaza City, killing four Palestinian children and their parents, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Siblings Omar Nazir Shawqi Shaban, 11, Ghada Nazir Shawqi Shaban, 10, Batoul Nazir Shawqi Shaban, 7, and one-year-old Ahmad Nazir Shawqi Shaban were all killed.
Israeli warplanes bombed a residential building near the Al-Azam mosque in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, killing 20 Palestinians, including 11 children, around 12:30 p.m. on October 8, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 11 children in the Al-Zaanin family were killed in the attack, including Amr Mohammad Jameel Al-Zaanin, four, Khaled Mohammad Jameel Al-Zaanin, seven, Obaida Mohammad Jameel Al-Zaanin, nine, Hassan Mohammad Jameel Al-Zaanin, 12, Momen Hussam Jameel Al-Zaanin, 12, Noor Hussam Jameel Al-Zaanin, nine, Zaina Hussam Jameel Al-Zaanin, seven, Mays Hussam Jameel Al-Zaanin, five, Hala Hussam Jameel Al-Zaanin, one, Salma Omar Jameel Al-Zaanin, five, and Balsam Omar Jameel Al-Zaanin, three. Their remains were transferred to the Indonesian hospital as they were extracted from the rubble by Palestinian medical and civil defense teams.
A residential building in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip was destroyed by Israeli warplanes, killing 13 Palestinians, including five children, around 3 a.m. on October 9, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Five Palestinian children in the Al-Qatnani family were killed, including siblings Basma Sameer Mousa Al-Qatnani, 16, Mohammad Sameer Mousa Al-Qatnani, 13, Sally Sameer Mousa Al-Qatnani, 11, and their cousins Salma Omar Mousa Al-Qatnani, four, and Jawan Omar Mousa Al-Qatnani, two.
Eight-month-old Rakan Sameh Saifaldeen Ahmad was killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting his family’s neighbor’s house in the Tal Al-Zaatar area east of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank around 3:30 a.m. on October 9, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
DCIP continues to investigate and document incidents regarding the killing of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, including nine-year-old Hala Hosni Fawaz Tafesh, Mohammad Yousef Mohammad Yousef Nassar, 16, Mohammad Hishan Mostafa Abu Naser, 16, Mostafa Fadel Jamil Badawi, 16, Jamil Fayez Mohammad Al-Masri, 11, and Aser Yaser Khaled Al-Baik, 15, as well as three children killed in Al-Nusairat refugee camp.
At least 493 Palestinians, including 91 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. DCIP is working to document additional attacks and killings. Israeli forces shot and killed five Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including 12-year-old Ahmad Abdulnaser Adnan Rabi.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 3,752 Palestinian civilians since 2008 throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Since 2000, Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 2,300 Palestinian children as of October 9, 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP.
Israeli authorities have imposed a closure policy against the Gaza Strip since 2007 by strictly controlling and limiting the entry and exit of individuals; maintaining harsh restrictions on imports including food, construction materials, fuel, and other essential items; as well as prohibiting exports. Israel continues to maintain complete control over the Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace, and territorial waters.
Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.
International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires all parties to an armed conflict to distinguish between military targets, civilians, and civilian objects.