Four Palestinian children were killed in explosions on a Gaza beach today as nearby journalists shouted in vain for the attacks to stop, then rushed to perform first aid.
It was there that the second shell hit the beach, those firing apparently adjusting their fire to target the fleeing survivors. As it exploded, journalists standing by the terrace wall shouted: "They are only children."
In the space of 40 seconds, four boys who had been playing hide and seek among the fishermen's shacks built on the wall were dead. They were aged between seven and 11; two were named Mohammad, one Zakaria and the youngest Ahed. All were members of the extended Bakr family.
Initial accounts suggested that an Israeli gunship had fired shells at the beach, but Haaretz reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) believes the children were killed by an airstrike.
The incident occurred near several hotels used by foreign correspondents, BuzzFeed says. The site spoke to an employee of one of the hotels. "We don’t know why they would shell that area," Ahmed Jabril told reporter Sheera Frenkel. "There was nothing there, no rocket launchers, no Hamas, just some kids on the beach."