Israeli forces kill 8, including 2-year old, in Gaza raid

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Thu May 1 06:29:09 MDT 2003

Reuters. 1 May 2003. Palestinian toddler shot dead in Israeli Gaza raid.

GAZA -- Two-year-old Amir toddled over to the window of his house during
an Israeli army raid in Gaza City on Thursday, his curiosity apparently
piqued by the noise outside.

By the time his father could reach him, the Palestinian boy was dead. A
bullet had pierced his skull.

"I could not help him," Ahmed Ayyad said, choking back tears at the
local morgue, where his son's tiny body drew a steady stream of people
offering their condolences.

Ayyad, a grey-haired blacksmith, said Amir and his three other children
had huddled, trembling, in the house as the sound of automatic weapons
fire and tank shell explosions echoed outside.

"My two-year-old, Amir, walked away suddenly towards the window facing
the Israeli troops. A bullet hit him in the head," he said.

At the time, Ayyad said, the soldiers and Palestinian gunmen were locked
in a battle several dozen metres (yards) away.

Israeli tanks backed by helicopter gunships raided the Shijaia
neighbourhood before dawn, besieging the family home of a wanted
militant from the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas.

The Israeli military fired tank shells and heavy machine guns during the
operation and helicopters launched four missiles at the gunmen.

Sirens wailed throughout the night and morning as ambulances rushed
dozens of Palestinian casualties to Gaza's main hospital, where hundreds
of volunteers gathered to help emergency crews.

Relatives flocked to the local morgue to identify the dead.

"This is not the road map to peace," Ayyad said.

"It is the road to death."

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