‘They were just children’: New York Times runs frontpage collage of Gaza’s youngest victims
The New York Times, on May 28, published a list of children killed in the latest Israel-Gaza flare-up of violence.
During the 11 days of fighting this month between Israel and Hamas, at least 67 children (under 18) were killed in Gaza and 2 in Israel, according to initial reports, the NYT article reads.
The identities of the children, their photos, and the circumstances of their death were corroborated from multiple sources, including their parents, relatives, teachers, schools in Gaza and Israel, international rights organisations, Palestinian officials, and news organisations in Gaza and Israel.
The obituary begins by describing the grief many parents in Gaza had to endure. "I'm in disbelief," said Saad Asaliyah, a taxi driver from Jabaliya, who lost his 10-year-old daughter. "I try to calm myself by saying it was God's will for her to go."
Children are the most vulnerable in Gaza. They grow up amid crippling poverty, high unemployment, cannot freely move due to the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, and live under the constant threat of war. The New York Times estimated that an average 15-year-old would have lived through four major Israeli offensives.
"When I think about the children who died," said Ola Abu Hasaballah, a child psychologist in Gaza, "I also think about the ones who survive, those who were pulled out of the rubble and lost a limb, or those who will go to school and see their friend is missing."
The New York Times piece also reflects on the low toll on the Israeli side as a result of Israel's defensive capabilities. Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli towns and cities, but most were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system. Israeli officials claim the Iron Dome stopped about 90% of the rockets.In Gaza, most airstrikes landed on targets without any interception. Unlike Israel, many people in Gaza have no access to safe rooms or shelters. Many seek refuge in the United Nations schools. However, they too have been bombed, reinforcing a feeling that anyone could be killed anywhere.
Incidentally, on May 22, the New York Times also published a full-page ad -- paid for by a pro-Israel group -- condemning pro-Palestine celebrities the Hadid sisters and Dua Lipa.