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A schoolboy among dead in latest Israeli air attack on Gaza
Sunday, February 8, 2004

Gaza City: The eleven years old Tareq was on his way to school when an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile on a car in the middle of a busy street in Gaza City. It all happened suddenly at about ten O'lock in the morning of Saturday, February the 7th. when many school children were on their way to attend the afternoon school shift in the area where the attack took place. Tens of children witnessed directly as one missile exploded into a car, which became engulfed into a huge fire spreading ciaos, fear and panic among children and pedestrians.

Two schoolboys, Hassan (14yrs) and Nidal (13yrs), were there and saw what happened from a distant less than one hundred meters away. ・I was walking with my friend here when suddenly a huge explosion shocked the area and immediately saw a car in the middle of a big fire. People were running in all directions. Then, I saw one body of a boy being blown away and thrown about ten meters from the car. I ran towards him and realized it was the body of Tareq; the boy from my neighborhood.・Said the fourteen-year-old Hassan.

Ambulance cars arrived immediately to the scene to carry those who were injured or killed. ・There was blood every where in this area here.・Said Nidal, 13 years old as he pointed to the area of the attack. ・School children were many in this street as we all were on our way to the afternoon school shift. I saw at least 15 boys injured, screaming and bleeding.・Nidal continued.

The air attack happened exactly across the street from the municipal library of Gaza City on Wehda Street. Two staff employees got injured inside the library from shattered window glass and missile sharpeners. Another two municipal workers who happened to be waiting in a jeep outside the library got injured as well.

Later, Palestinian health sources announced that two people were killed and more than 12 injured. Most of the injured are being treated at the main hospital in Gaza. According to Palestinian media sources, the assassinated car driver was a Palestinian militant, 25 years old Al shami, belonging to the Saraya Al Quds Group. In a statement to the media, later on the same day, the militant Group vowed to avenge the assassination of its member.

The family of Tareq set up a funeral service in their neighborhood where many people and sympathizers began to arrive paying condolences to the parents.

Tareq痴 friends were present looking sad and shocked for the loss of their friend. Many were carrying Palestinian flags like Suhail, 15 years old, who was a friend and a soccer teammate of Tareq. ・We were all in the same team and Tareq was our goalkeeper. He loved to be a goalkeeper so much. He was very proud to be one. He used to put on the keeper gear every time he played.・Said Suhail.

Other boys surrounded Suhail as he talked about their friend Tareq. ・He was really fun to be with. He always tried to make us laugh. It is really sad. We all cried very much when we heard of his death.・Said another friend named Ashraf.

By: B. Samed

February 8th. 2004.


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