Family Of Gaza’s 5-Year-Old Killed In Israel Strike

'Was she fighting?': Family of 5-year-old from Gaza killed in Israel strike

Alaa Kaddum held by her grandfather Riad in Gaza.

Gaza:

A five-year-old girl was one of 10 people tragically killed in Gaza as the region witnessed its worst escalation in violence in a year on Saturday. Israel bombarded Gaza with airstrikes to which the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad responded with rockets.

While her family prepared for the funeral, Alaa Kaddum’s small body, wrapped in a white cloth, was held by her relatives. A pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead were seen in the video shared by news organization Middle East Eye.

Speaking to Middle East Eye, Alaa’s grandfather asked Riad what crime she had committed that justified her death.

“She dreamed of going to nursery. She wanted a bag and clothes… This innocent girl. Was she in charge of missiles or was she fighting? What did she do?’ asked Riad distraught.

While health authorities in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, said 10 people had been killed and 79 injured in the bombing, the Israeli military estimated that its operation killed 15 terrorists.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the Jewish state was forced to conduct a “preemptive counter-terror operation against an imminent threat” leveled by the Islamic Jihad group after days of tensions along the Gaza border.

Islamic Jihad is a group that, although affiliated with Hamas, also acts independently. The terror group said the first Israeli bombing amounted to a “declaration of war” before unleashing a flurry of more than 100 rockets at Israel.

The rocket fire and Israeli attacks continued overnight, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that devastated Gaza.

Both Israel and Islamic Jihad confirmed the assassination of a top leader of the terrorist group Taysir al-Jabari on Friday.

“Israel is not interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from it,” Prime Minister Lapid said in a nationally televised speech.

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