The Kid Killed By Hamas

It is set to become one of the iconic images of the conflict. Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Kandil kissing the forehead of a boy supposedly killed by an Israeli airstrike.

It is a heartbreaking picture, and I say this as someone staunchly pro-Israel and supportive of air strikes on Gaza.

An image like this can leave an indelible mark on the average person with little knowledge of the conflict and why Israel launched air strikes to begin with.

But if you look deeper, you discover that not all is what it seems.

Only one problem: he was killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short in Gaza.

There is a lot of evidence for this. Read the New York Times’ account of his death:

The Abu Wardah family woke up on Friday morning to word that a hudna — Arabic for cease-fire — had been declared during the three-hour visit of the Egyptian prime minister to this embattled territory. So, after two days of huddling indoors to avoid intensifying Israeli air assaults, Abed Abu Wardah, the patriarch, went to the market to buy fruits and vegetables. His 22-year-old son, Aiman, took an empty blue canister to be refilled with cooking gas. The younger children of their neighborhood, Annazla, in this town north of Gaza City went out to the dirt alley to kick a soccer ball.

But around 9:45 a.m., family members and neighbors said, an explosion struck a doorway near the Abu Wardah home, killing Aiman Abu Wardah as he returned from his errand, as well as Mahmoud Sadallah, 4, who lived next door and had refused his older cousin’s pleas to stay indoors.

It is unclear who was responsible for the strike on Annazla: the damage was nowhere near severe enough to have come from an Israeli F-16, raising the possibility that an errant missile fired by Palestinian militants was responsible for the deaths. What seems clear is that expectations for a pause in the fighting, for at least one family, were tragically misplaced.

The IDF did not launch any airstrikes in Gaza while Egyptian PM Kandil was in Gaza. AP adds:

Mahmoud Sadallah, the 4-year-old Gaza boy whose death moved Egypt’s prime minister to tears, was from the town of Jebaliya, close to Gaza City.

The boy died Friday in hotly disputed circumstances. The boy’s aunt, Hanan Sadallah, and his grief-stricken father Iyad — weak from crying and leaning on others to walk — said Mahmoud was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas security officials also made that claim.

Israel vehemently denied involvement, saying it had not carried out any attacks in the area at the time.

Mahmoud’s family said the boy was in an alley close to his home when he was killed, along with a man of about 20, but no one appeared to have witnessed the strike. The area showed signs that a projectile might have exploded there, with shrapnel marks in the walls of surrounding homes and a shattered kitchen window. But neighbors said local security officials quickly took what remained of the projectile, making it impossible to verify who fired it.

If it was an Israeli missile, you can be sure that it would have been shown to the media! Furthermore, PCHR, which is keeping track of everyone killed in Gaza (and which admits that most of the dead have been “militants,”) did not list Mahmoud Sadalha or Aiman Aby Wardah in their list of victims of Israeli airstrikes, although they even include one person who died of a heart attack.

Put this together with the fact that Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets throughout Friday morning while the IDF did not, plus the fact that over 100 rockets have fallen short in Gaza (both using past performance and IDF statistics as proof), and the fact that the shrapnel in the video matches almost exactly the shrapnel damage we have seen from rocket fire into Israel, and it is very clear: this child was killed by Gaza rocket fire, not by Israel.

Update: Confirmation here:

But there were signs on Saturday that not all the Palestinian casualties have been the result of Israeli air strikes. The highly publicised death of four-year-old Mohammed Sadallah appeared to have been the result of a misfiring home-made rocket, not a bomb dropped by Israel.

The child’s death on Friday figured prominently in media coverage after Hisham Kandil, the Egyptian prime minister, was filmed lifting his dead body out of an ambulance. “The boy, the martyr, whose blood is still on my hands and clothes, is something that we cannot keep silent about,” he said, before promising to defend the Palestinian people.

But experts from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights who visited the site on Saturday said they believed that the explosion was caused by a Palestinian rocket.

Sharif Khalah, 26, was standing at the end of the alleyway by the road when the explosion happened.

“Suddenly there was this whistling noise, a whoosh and then bang,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.”I couldn’t see anything for about 10 minutes because there was so much dust and smoke. Then I saw the little boy.”

Less than 24 hours after her youngest son’s death, Esmat Sadallah, Mohammed’s mother, was too bereft to apportion blame. It was possible he was struck by a rocket fired by Palestinian fighters, she said. It was also possible he was killed in an Israeli strike, she added, although nobody had heard the sound of a drone or plane in the sky just before the explosion.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks


  • Gaia

    Excellent piece.
    Good research!

    • Aussie Dave

      Indeed. But you should be telling that to Elder of Ziyon :)

  • Vlad Tepes

    At least they did not buried the child only to dug him up and parade him on the front of the press several times like they did in Lebanon.

    Frankly, seeing the expression of the ninja bitch in the background (right top) yielding a camera like a Goebbels on steroids, I don’t give a damn. I never, ever saw someone taking pictures at a funeral or hospital, even perfect strangers. Here they have just a great photo-ops, and most muslims seems perfectly capable to kill their own children if it furthers their satanic cult.

    When I’ll someone, related to the kid or not, tearing up that bitch in pieces, then I’ll know they care.

  • Jim from Iowa

    This is a distinction without a real difference for me. Hamas is completely and solely responsible for these tragedies. They jeopardize the lives of every Palestinian in Gaza with their criminal acts against innocent Israeli citizens. When a populace embraces terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, bad things happen to you.

    • mzk1

      And Fatah, which runs the PA.

      Well, Jim, I sincerely thank you for your attitude, which is an exception from your fellow lefties. Arguably, we have a limited amount of time to cripple Hamas’ missle-firing abilities before the American Left raises a stink and stops us from continuing.

      What the people in Gaza (or Judea/Samaria) rally want is a different question; it’s not like it’s safe for them to speak their minds.

      • Jim from Iowa

        Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I do see a difference between Fatah and Hamas/Islamic Jihad. For the moment, Fatah is not launching rockets or sending suicide bombers to kill Israelis. I’m afraid this passes for moderation in the Arab world.

        • Norman B.

          There is a difference. Abbas wears a suit.

          • Jim from Iowa

            Yeah, what’s up with that jogging outfit Haniyeh wears? He obviously doesn’t do much jogging.

            • David

              Hmmm….If he doesn’t stop sending rockets on Israel and making a fool of Egyptian politicians he may just have to start jogging real soon.. :)

        • mzk1

          I’m honestly not as sure as you that Hamas really has as much support from the people of Gaza as even you think. This I learned speaking to a young man someone who had been in the permanent house-to-house fighting unit (rule 1 of house-to-house fighting – don’t). But under international law, they are still responsible for their government, although we are being amazingly restrained – so far.

      • ziontruth


        “For the moment, Fatah is not launching rockets or sending suicide bombers to kill Israelis.”

        I think the continued presence of Israeli troops in Judea and Samaria, to contrast with their absence from Gaza since August 2005, may have something to do with it.

        I don’t think there’s an essential difference between Fatah and Hamas, the only difference is the former are more adept in the art of forked tongue, talking peace in English to the world and jihad in Arabic to their flock, while Hamas tend to be honest on their genocidal aspirations to the outside world as well.


        “What the people in Gaza (or Judea/Samaria) rally want is a different question”

        And I don’t believe it all begins and ends with those organizations and their leaders. I believe Ahmed Q. Public in the ACJTs (Arab-Colonized Jewish Territories) is just as bullish on the genocidal plan as his Hamas or Fatah leaders. Yes, they want to lead ordinary lives, raise families, have fun and all that, but they also think eliminating the Jewish state, killing all its male population, taking the females to concubinage and plundering the vanquished nation’s riches would be conducive to those ordinary aspirations. There’s no need for a fallacious bifurcation between the two dreams.

        • mzk1

          I explained above why I’m not so sure, not that there is much practical difference, as they aren’t exactly free to do anything.

          But history tells us they would not do that, rather they would toture the men, rape the women and girls, kill them all, and mutilate the dead bodies – as they did in 1948. And THAT is why the State exists, to keep that from happening again.

          May God grant our boys safety and victory.

        • Vlad Tepes

          Yes, they want to lead ordinary lives, raise families, have fun and all that, but they also think eliminating the Jewish state, killing all its male population, taking the females to concubinage and plundering the vanquished nation’s riches would be conducive to those ordinary aspirations.

          Talking about condensing koran teachings in 1 paragraph… you might add a bunch of other “unbelievers” too.

          • ziontruth

            Of course, the observation applies to all non-Muslims. It’s the basic error of so many in the West (the Left mainly, but also the Buchananite type of right-wingers who talk of “we’re making them hate us with our actions X, Y, Z…”) that they deny the global imperialistic political program integral to Islam, viewing each of Islam’s bloody borders as an isolated regional conflict, not thinking they’re eventual targets.

            The coming period will be one marked by mass expulsions; it had better be, otherwise it’ll be marked by genocides, perpetrated by Islamic imperialists appeased or treated too gently. The harsh truth is unwelcome, but it is still the truth.

    • rulierose

      I agree, but the Jew-hating world thinks the “distinction without a difference” is that it’s all Israel’s fault, not Hamas’. what can you do with people who think the ‘Occupation’ started in 1948?

  • Benny

    Ha ha. Richard Silverstein features this picture on his blog as an example of Zionist war crimes and is trying his best to ignore or insult commenters on his blog who point out that the picture actualy depicts Arab violence — how the Arabs fire missiles indiscriminately at civilian populations.

    Bottom line, Dickie inadvertantly reveals that he has no proof at all that this child was harmed by Israelis — even though he does his best to turn it into a poster child for anti-Israeli propaganda and hatred of Israelis.

    • ziontruth

      Dicksilver is simply insane. I use the word here neither in the colloquial nor the psychiatric sense, but in the sense commonplace among the ancients, even the pagans of old (“Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first drive mad”). The same sort of divinely inflicted insanity can be seen in the Neturei Karta quislings, who have let a theological point (the question whether setting up Jewish sovereignty before the coming of Mashiah is kosher) mushroom out of all proportion so that they’ve ended echoing every Marxist/Islamic lie and kissing mini-Hitler in Tehran.

      There seems to be no Marxist/Islamic anti-Zionist canard Dicksilver won’t adopt. What may have started as aversion to right-wing Jews and the Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria has ballooned into full-blown acceptance of the Arab colonists’ Nakba Narrishtive and the call to de-Judaize the Jewish State. I have no explanation for this but insanity brought on him from above. There’s nothing that could save him except prayer.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    Speaking of which why isn’t Silver in Gaza with the rest of the ‘journalists’?

    • Naftali

      Idiot, there’s no gluten free scones in Gaza, never mind his daily chai latte. A man can only take so much hardship

      • rulierose

        and don’t forget Jodi Rudoren, the NYT bureau chief, who had to miss her spinning class because of the conflict! such sacrifices…

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