The story of the three children murdered in Gaza last week by the apartheid state.
Sarah Abu Ghazal's school uniform still lay on her mattress, untouched as she had left it before running out after her cousins Mahmoud and Yehya Abu Ghazal on Wednesday, 29 August. She was to begin the fourth grade on 2 September, but her friend Amani, who has accompanied her to school since the first grade, would walk alone this year. Sarah's mother had bought her the blue school uniform, blue jeans and the black shoes just the day before she was killed by Israel tank fire. Her mother waited until the last minute to buy Sarah's school supplies because she was waiting for her husband's salary which he had not received since June. Still full of life, Sarah was readying her new clothes for the start of the school year when Yehya called for her to come out and play.
Ten-year-old Mahmoud looked up to Yehya and followed him wherever he went, as he did not have any brothers of his own. On the day he died he had just finished telling his mother not to buy him anything for school until Yehya had acquired his things. He made her promise only to buy the same things that Yehya had. Mahmoud was killed alongside Yehya and now lies buried right beside him.
"Israel just wants to shed our blood," said Yehya's mother, choking on her words. "They didn't do anything wrong ... they had no rockets, no tanks ... they were just playing," added Mahmoud's mother. They were all sitting on the mattress Yehya shared with Mahmoud. Mahmoud would sneak out of his mother's bedroom at night to go and sleep by Yehya. "They were meant to go together," said Yehya's mother, "Mahmoud would not have lived without Yehya. May God rest their souls together."
The Israeli army stated it had "identified and fired at several rocket launchers aimed at Israel." According to the Abu Ghazal family, rockets had not been fired from that area for the past nine months and the Israeli army knew this. However, the tanks were close enough for the soldiers manning them to see the children and they could have also relied on their large white reconnaissance balloon that constantly hovers over Beit Hanoun.
Where's the justice for 12-year-old Yehya and his childhood, or 10-year-old Mahmoud who wanted nothing more than to have the same things as his friend, or 10-year-old Sarah who never got to wear her new school clothes?