Four Palestinian children killed in refugee camp ‘massacre’

At least six people have been killed, including four children, in a suspected Israeli air strike that hit a residential area near a mosque in the overcrowded Jabalia refugee camp north of the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, reports Middle East Eye correspondent Mohammed al-Hajjar.

The children were identified as Momen al-Nairab, five, Hazem Salem, nine, Khalil Shubair, 10 and Ahmad al-Nairb, 11.

A further 15 people were wounded, most of whom were children.

Ahamd Arafah, an eyewitness, described scenes of horror. 

‘I can’t even put to words what I have just witnessed, I’m still shaking,’ Arafah told MEE.

‘We were watching the news like everyone, then we heard screaming and went outside. I saw frightening scenes. Blood-covered children, body parts all over the street, people running around confused.

‘Of course, all of this is in the midst of power outages and we can barely see what happened,’ said Arafah, adding that they then began taking bodies into the ambulances, about 10 in each vehicle.

‘It was literally a massacre. There are no other words to describe it. I’m still in shock at what I saw. They were just children. What is their crime?’

The Israeli army denied conducting any air strikes in the area at the time of the blast, saying it was likely a misfired Palestinian rocket.

At the same time, another wave of heavy bombing hit Rafah city, south of the Gaza Strip. The strikes hit a house belonging to the al-Mudallal family.

According to initial reports, at least 30 people have been wounded while some remain buried under the rubble.

‘The attack came with no warning, and multiple bombs hit the residential area,’ local journalist Wael Abu Omar said. ‘The wounded included elders, women and children.’

The two late Saturday raids have taken the death toll in Gaza to 24 since Friday, including six children. More than 203 have been wounded.