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“They were playing,” says father whose two children killed by ‘Israel’ in Gaza

Gaza Strip (QNN)- 24 civilians have been killed since yesterday in several Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, including a disabled man, a woman, and 9 children.

‘Israel’ has been striking several locations in the Gaza Strip and targeting civilians since Monday evening, injuring 103 and killing 24.

Among those killed were two siblings from the al-Masri family, Ibrahim, 11, and seven-year-old Marwan, from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

Seven other Palestinians were reported killed in the same attack.

“The children were playing with their cousins in front of the house when a man on a motorcycle passed by, and the occupation targeted him twice,” Youssef al-Masri, the children’s father, told Middle East Eye (MEE).

“My children were martyred. I cannot find any justification whatsoever for targeting someone passing through overcrowded civilian neighbourhoods where dozens of children usually play,” he added.

Ibrahim and Marwan, who were killed on Monday’s raid, were Masri’s only children.

They liked to play in the street near their home before the Iftar [fast-breaking] meal during Ramadan, their father told the MEE.

“This criminal occupation whose reality we have known for decades still maintains [its] usual image of killing children, women and unarmed civilians,” he said.

Marwa al-Masri, from another branch of the family, told the MEE that two further Israeli airstrikes hit as families were preparing for their Iftar meal.

“I was coming back home from work when two explosions rocked the neighbourhood. The dust and the smell of blood and death filled the place in a moment, and children were bleeding on the side of the street,” she said.

“I saw my cousin hugging her children and screaming, all of this happened in just one moment. I still cannot imagine that this happened.”

Five members of Marwa’s family were killed, and others were injured.

“It makes my heart bleed. While people were preparing for their Iftar in Ramadan, we were holding the coffins of our children killed in cold blood by the occupation,” she continued.

“This occupation is practising violence and terror against Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza, and against everything that is Palestinian since 1948.”

Ahmed Nasser, a neighbour of the Masri family, also told the MEE that the neighbourhood families were preparing food when the airstrikes hit their street.

“We were preparing for Iftar, and children and youths were sitting in the neighbourhood, before a massive explosion, followed by another one, suddenly rocked the street,” he said.

“I ran out to the street and the scene was horrific. Children were killed and young men were bleeding. Mothers were crying and screaming while the [targeted] motorcycle and its driver were on fire,” Nasser continued.

“The scene was a nightmare that I am still seeing. We were preparing the food, and we left it on the table, only to eat in the hospital with our grieving neighbours.”

‘Israel’ had announced on Monday the launch of a new operation on the Gaza Strip following rockets fired by the Palestinian resistance groups in protest against the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and attacking the Jerusalemites.

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