On 27 December 2008, Israel launched "Operation Cast Lead" against the Gaza Strip, with targeted air strikes followed by a ground invasion amidst continued bombardment from land and sea. Beit Lahiya, in north Gaza, was severely and continuously targeted. On 8 January 2009, between 9:00 and 9:30am, an Israeli drone launched a missile onto Kamal Odwan Hospital Street.
According to DCI-Palestine’s investigations and documentation, seven people were killed in this attack, including three children from three different neighbouring families:
- Bara Shalha (6)
- Bayan Khleif (12)
- Osama Lubbad (17)
Four out of five eyewitnesses interviewed by DCI-Palestine reported that the missile was likely to have been fired from a drone plane. According to Al Mezan, at least 116 children, were killed by missiles launched from Israeli unmanned aircraft (drones) during "Operation Cast Lead". Drone strikes are very precise, and drone controllers have excellent visibility which allows them to distinguish between adults and children on the ground. DCI-Palestine therefore believes that the vast majority of drone attacks resulting in death of civilians constitute willful killing.
At least 352 children were killed as a result of Israeli military operations during "Operation Cast Lead".
Read the full report of the incident: Operation Cast Lead: 3 children killed in drone strike, Mashrou Beit Lahiya
Read the Al Mezan and DCI-Palestine report: Bearing the Brunt Again: Child Rights Violations during Operation Cast Lead (September 2009)