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“Wake Up My Son!” None of Gaza’s Murdered Children Are Just Numbers

By Ali Abunimah

13 July, 2014

Sahir Salman Abu Namous, left, “was just a kid who wanted to play and be happy.”

Sahir Salman Abu Namous was just four years old, soon to turn five.

“Everyone who saw him loved him because he was always smiling,” his first cousin Diaa Mahmoud recalls in an email he sent me from Gaza.

“One month before Sahir died, his father was sitting and talking to the boy’s aunt,” Mahmoud says.

“He looks so clever,” Mahmoud remembers the boy’s proud father saying, “even more clever than his siblings.”

Sahir was killed on Friday afternoon when an Israeli warplane bombed his family home in the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in northern Gaza.

“He was playing and smiling next to his mother when missile shrapnel divided his head,” Mahmoud writes.

“His father took him to the hospital screaming ‘Wake up my son! I bought toys for you, please wake up!’”

The photo that Mahmoud sent of Sahir with little left of his head, cradled in the arms of his anguished father Salman Abu Namous, is too graphic to show here.

But Mahmoud sent me some other photos of his cousin Sahir in happier times.

“He was just kid who wanted to play and be happy,” Mahmoud says, “he wasn’t just a number.”

Salman Abu Namous carries the body of his son Sahir, 4, at the boy's funeral.
Sahir was killed in an Israeli missile strike in northern Gaza on Friday.
( Yasser Qudih / APA images )

Since Monday, Israel has targeted hundreds of private homes, banks, social institutions and mosques with relentless bombardment.

Sahir Salman Abu Namous was one of 21 children who had been killed in the onslaught by Friday.

Two disabled women among dead in unrelenting massacre

By Saturday, the toll had exceeded 130 people killed and more than 1,000 injured, almost 80 percent noncombatant civilians.

In a particularly horrifying attack, Israeli warplanes last night bombed a home for people with disabilities in northern Gaza, killing two women, Suha Abu Saada, 47, and Ola Wishaa, 30.

Residents of the home “were barely mobile,” neighbors told The Guardian, “spending their time in bed or in wheelchairs, and could not escape the building.”

None of them are just numbers.

Ali Abunimah is Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine , now out from Haymarket Books.



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