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Israeli Bombs Kill at Least 5 Children in Rafah Ahead of Threatened Invasion

“This is who they are targeting,” said the surviving uncle of a 1-year-old who was killed on Sunday night.

A view of destruction after Israeli attacks on building belonging to the Khatib family in Rafah, Palestine, on April 29, 2024.

Israeli airstrikes killed between 20 and 30 people in Rafah Sunday night, including at least five children.

Among the slain children was a one-year-old boy whose parents had been trying to have a child for 10 years before he was finally born.

“This is who they are targeting,” the boy’s uncle, Mahmoud Abu Taha, said in a video shot by CNN in the courtyard of Rafah’s Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital. “This is their objective. This is the generation they’re looking for. This is the safe Rafah they talk about.”

As Abu Taha spoke, he lifted the lifeless body of his nephew toward the camera.

“His name is Deif-Allah (meaning guest in Arabic) and he was indeed a guest,” Abu Taha further told Reuters. “He came as a guest after (his parents) longed for (him) for so long, after 10 years.”

“Ten people (were killed), the mother, her daughter, her granddaughters, her grandson, her son-in-law, their daughters and relatives, everyone. They’re all gone, all 10 of them,” Abu Taha added.

As the threat of a full-scale ground invasion of Rafah still looms, the Israeli Defense Forces have continued to regularly bomb Gaza’s southernmost city, where more than 1.5 million Gazans have fled seeking relative safety from Israel’s lethal assault on the enclave.

Airstrikes late Sunday into early Monday struck three homes, The Associated Press reported:

The first killed 11 people, including four siblings aged 9 to 27, according to records at the Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital, where the bodies were taken. The second strike killed eight people, including a 33-year-old father and his 5-day-old boy, according to hospital records. The third strike killed three siblings, aged 23, 19, and 12. An Associated Press reporter saw the bodies at the hospital.

According to the video shot by CNN, the name of the five-day-old boy was Ghaith Abu Rayya.

“We are all alone. Nobody cares about us,” a man cried out in the video as he opened a small body bag to show Abu Rayya’s head. He said the rest of the infant’s body had been destroyed by the bomb.

Another mourner at the hospital told CNN, “Nowhere is safe. The entire Gaza Strip is a target.”

The AP calculated the final death toll from the Rafah bombings at 22, including five children and six women. Reuters reported that 30 were killed.

Israel also carried out deadly airstrikes in other parts of Gaza Sunday night. The IDF killed five people, including women and children, when it fired a missile at the Tartouri family home west of Gaza City, the International Middle East Media Center reported. Another missile hit the home of the Hijazi family south of Gaza City, killing two women.

Another person was killed by an IDF missile that hit a car in central Gaza, while the Palestinian Civil Defense teams discovered 13 bodies amid the ruins of bombed homes in Khan Younis’ Al-Amal neighborhood.

All told, the Gaza Health Ministry announced Monday that Israel had carried out three massacres against Gazan families in the last 24 hours, killing 34 and wounding 68. This brings the total death toll from Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip to at least 34,488, though that is likely an undercount as many remain buried beneath rubble and Israel has besieged and bombarded several hospitals, damaging or destroying nearly 84% of the strip’s healthcare facilities and making record keeping more difficult.

Israel’s devastating campaign in the Gaza Strip began in October 7 in response to Hamas’ deadly attack on Southern Israel that killed approximately 1,100 and saw around 240 taken hostage. Prior to October 7, Israel had blockaded Gaza for 16 years and occupied the Palestinian West Bank for 56 years.

Sunday’s bombings came as cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas are set to restart Monday, with Egypt hosting Hamas leaders to facilitate the discussion.

“We are hopeful the proposal has taken into account the positions of both sides, has tried to extract moderation from both sides, and we are waiting to have a final decision,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at a World Economic Forum meeting on Monday.

In a recent piece published online, Hebrew University Holocaust and genocide scholar Amos Goldberg added his voice to the growing number of human rights and international law experts who have labeled Israel’s actions in Gaza a genocide.

“What is happening in Gaza is genocide because the level and pace of indiscriminate killing, destruction, mass expulsions, displacement, famine, executions, the wiping out of cultural and religious institutions, the crushing of elites (including the killing of journalists), and the sweeping dehumanization of the Palestinians — create an overall picture of genocide, of a deliberate conscious crushing of Palestinian existence in Gaza,” Goldberg wrote in the essay published in translation on Medium.

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