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AUGUST 1 UPDATE: Child death toll in Gaza approaches 200 and rising

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Ramallah, August 1, 2014—DCI-Palestine confirmed a further 12 child deaths today, as the international community attempted again to broker a ceasefire deal between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip. An agreement for a 72-hour ceasefire collapsed within a matter of hours, leading to renewed fighting and further civilian deaths.

Since the beginning of the Israeli attack on Gaza, 166 children have been confirmed dead. DCI-Palestine is currently investigating a further 67 cases.

Nearly two weeks after a particularly violent day of the conflict, Sunday, July 20, DCI-Palestine sources were still confirming deaths. Four children from one family died when Israeli forces shelled their relative’s house in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City early in the morning. The families sheltering there received no prior warning, and 11 members, including Karam and Karim Ahmad Hamed al-Helou, 6-month-old baby twins, and their siblings Maram, 2, and Najia, 4, died. The ongoing violence in the area left their bodies undiscovered for six days.

DCI-Palestine confirmed an additional death on July 23. Rabea Qasem Rabea Abu Ras, 9, accompanied his mother to salvage some belongings from their home in the Bedouin village in northern Gaza. Once there, an Israeli artillery shell landed nearby and injured him in the back. Rabea rushed to a close hospital, but a drone missile killed him instantly at the entrance.

Five deaths were confirmed from July 24. In Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, Mohammad Jihad Salim Matar, 12, Amaneh Jihad Salim Matar, 10, and Duaa Raed Yousef Abu Odeh, 17, left Jabalia refugee camp with their uncle to salvage items from their home. While there, an Israeli drone missile struck their house and killed them immediately. In Rafah in southern Gaza, a drone missile killed Mohammad Ahmad Harbi Siam, 6, and Amir Adel Khamis Siam, 12, as they stood outside their home.

Mohammad Abdul-Nasser Mohammad al-Ghandour, 15, and Ibrahim Moatasem Ibrahim Kloub, 4, died in separate incidents on July 29. When an Israeli missile struck agricultural land in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia, shrapnel from the explosion punctured Mohammad’s neck and killed him instantly. In Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, Ibrahim died when a drone missile directly hit his family’s balcony as he played there. His mother sustained serious injuries and remains in critical condition.

These civilian casualties occurred as UN shelters, protected by international law, wound up as targets for the Israeli military. In the latest attack, an UNRWA school in Jabalia, sheltering 3,300 internally displaced persons, came under Israeli artillery fire on July 29, which led to multiple civilian deaths, including children. DCI-Palestine is still verifying the names and ages of those killed in the incident.