Fifteen percent of Israel’s victims are children like Ismail Hamdan and his two sisters

31 December 2008

From Maan News Agency. For the original article, please click here

Gaza – Ma’an – The most recent victim of Israeli airstrikes was 10-year-old Ismail Hamdan, who succumbed to his injuries after being hit by a missile while running an errand for his mother near their home in Beit Hanoun.

Ismail was with his two sisters when the missile struck, they were both torn to pieces on impact Tuesday afternoon.

The three were pulled out of a rubble pile by a passerby and transported to hospital via donkey-cart. The girls, 5-year-old Lama Hamdan, 12-year-old Haya Hamdan, were declared dead on arrival, but Ismail still had a faint heartbeat.

Dr Ibrahim Abu Ghazala treated fractures in each of Ismail’s limbs, removed damaged portions of his liver and pancreas and feared that if the boy survived he would have massive brain damage. He died on the operating table.

During a lull in the air and artillery strikes Wednesday afternoon Ismail’s mother sent her children on a quick errand; a chance for them to get some fresh air after being cooped up in the house for five days.

The two girls were scared to go by themselves outdoors, so their brother Ismail volunteered to go with them.

The Hamdan children are only the most recent victims of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which was set to root out military factions responsible for the continued launch of projectiles into Israel.

As of Wednesday, de facto Health Ministry officials say there are 395 dead; at least 15 percent are children.

Dr Abu Ghazala has witnessed the death of dozens of children at Gaza City’s Ash-Shifa Hospital. He explains his bitterness every time another small body is sent to sit on the ground in the full hospital morgue.

They try so hard to resist death, he says, but they end up fueling this conflict that has nothing to do with them.