Family Of Children Israel Killed On Gaza Beach Reopen Search For Justice

Four years after the massacre, Montaser still can’t play the game that brought him and his brothers joy. The sound of a football being kicked revives memories of bombs, shrieks and bloodshed, as well as a scene that he wants to shut out forever.

“I still cannot forget. I was running quickly to flee the area. I survived, but I lost my brother and my cousins,” the 17-year-old recalls of a massacre that occurred just yards from the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Montaser Bakr is the sole remaining survivor of the Bakr children who the Israeli military struck on July 16, 2014, while they played football on a Gaza beach at the height of the enclave’s last war, killing four children aged between nine and 11 years old.

One of them, 10-year-old Zakaria, was his brother. The others, Ismail, Ahed and Mohamed, were all his cousins. They were but four of more than 500 children who died from Israeli military action in the 50-day war.

In mid-2015, Israel closed its investigation into what happened on that day, claiming the area was a “Hamas compound” used by militants. But international journalists present said they witnessed a direct targeting of young children playing near a hut often frequented by fishermen.

Worse for the family, it was initially reported that Israel accidentally shelled the children from ships stationed offshore. Now, the family is seeking justice after new details about the tragedy came to light.

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