The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said at least 243 Palestinians were killed during the 11 days of fighting, including 66 children and teens, with 1,910 people wounded.
The Israeli military says over 100 operatives belonging to the terror groups were killed and that some of the civilian casualties were caused by Hamas rockets falling short or civilian homes collapsing after an airstrike on Hamas’s tunnel network.
In an article published by The New York Times on May 28th, the names and pictures of 67 children under the age of 17 were killed in Israel and in Gaza.
But a report published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and confirmed by Joe Truzman, a research analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies’s Long War Journal who focuses on militant groups in Gaza and the rest of the Middle East, found that at least at least one on the list was a militant who died fighting for Hamas.
Identified as 16-year-old Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman, he was killed on May 11th in an Israeli attack on the eastern part of Jabalia along with his father who was a commander in the group’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
“A video issued a few days after the end of the hostilities shows Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform and learning to shoot a machine gun and other weapons. The instructor next to him is also wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform. Thus despite his young age, he had been recruited by Hamas to its military-terrorist wing,” the report read.
The instructor in the video, Truzman told The Jerusalem Post, was his father. But, according to him, “Al-Qassam Brigades has not published any statements acknowledging Sabar was a member of the group.”
There may be others, but my research is ongoing, and I will publish findings when the work is completed.
Another name on the NYT list who had been identified as a 17-year old teenager was found by the report to be 20 year-old Khaled Imad Khaled al-Qanua who was killed on May 13th in an Israeli airstrike targeting a cell near Beit Hanoun.
According to the report, al-Quanua belonged to the Mujahedeen Brigades, a group affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and close to Iran.
Truzman said that “the group only stated that he died in battle.”
“There may be others, but my research is ongoing, and I will publish findings when the work is completed,” he said.
“Posters were disseminated online calling for males 17 to 25 to join the ‘Palestinian Liberation Army,’ but the poster showed what appeared to be teenagers wearing bandanas of several of the militant factions in the Gaza Strip,” Truzman said, adding that “it suggests the ‘Palestinian Liberation Army’ is a front for the militant groups.”
Teenagers can also join summer training camps held by several groups each year where they undergo basic military training, Truzman said, adding that groups “have not been shy about publishing photos and videos of teens who appear well below the age of 18 going through basic military training under the guidance of militants.”