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From the field

Testimony: Iyad Abu Khusah, a year-and-a-half-year old toddler, killed in bombing while playing in yard of his al-Bureij home with two 4-year-old cousins, both injured

Sarah Abu Khusah, 65

I live with my four sons and their families in a residential compound east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. My house is in the eastern part of the al-Bureij refugee camp in a nearly unpopulated area. The compound is surrounded by a wall.

Yesterday, 18 November 2012, around 8:00 am, three of my grandchildren – Suhaib and Sarah, both four years old, and Iyad, a year and a half old – were playing in the yard in front of the house, within the compound.

Suddenly, a powerful explosion was heard near the house. We all ran out to see what had happened. I was in shock when I discovered that a missile [sic] had fallen right next to the wall surrounding the compound and destroyed it. I saw my grandson Iyad lying dead on the ground. He had been hit by shrapnel from the shell. My other grandson, Suhaib, was lying next to him but he was moving. Also my granddaughter Sarah was lying on the ground. I called an ambulance immediately. I picked up Iyad. We stood there crying for help. The ambulance came quickly. My sons helped put the three small children into the ambulance, which raced off to a-Shifaa hospital in Gaza City. Iyad was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Suhaib and Sarah were hospitalized in intensive care because of their serious injuries. Shrapnel from the shell hit them in the head and legs. I am sitting with them now, hoping they will survive. I am very sad because of Iyad, whom I lost. He wasn’t to blame for what happened to him.

I don’t know why the Israeli planes targeted our house. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary near the house before the bombing.

Sarah Abu Khusah, 65, is a resident of al-Bureij refugee camp. She gave her testimony to Musa Abu Hashhash, by telephone, on 19 November 2012

Concerning testimonies about the "Pillar of Defense" campaign:

With the current military campaign ongoing, B’Tselem is taking testimony from Gaza residents, mainly by telephone. B’Tselem verifies, to the best of its ability, the reliability and precision of the information reported; nevertheless, in these circumstances, reports may be incomplete or contain errors. Given the urgency of informing the public about events in Gaza, B’Tselem has decided to publish the information now available. When the military campaign ends, B’Tselem will supplement these reports as needed.