For the last month, I could not get the image of 6-year-old Lebanese girl Amal Dorr off my mind. Amal was killed in an Israeli airstrike on February 21 in South Lebanon along with another victim Khadija Suleiman, 40, whose child was seriously injured. Zaineb was on her was to visit her uncle's house nearby in the city of Majda Zion. This precious little girl is the same age as my granddaughter Zaineb.

Thousands of mourners came from all over Lebanese to attend Zaineb and Khadija's funeral in order to pay respect. Zaineb and Khadija's lives were tragically cut short by savage Israeli airstrikes on that day. Zaineb is the eighth star to light the sky over Lebanon since the start of Al-Aqsa Flood Operation. The other 7 Lebanese martyred children were: Taline and Layan Shour from the village of Ainata, killed on November 5, 2023. Also, Hussein and Amir Mohsen from Sawaneh village, killed on Feb. 14, 2024, and Ghadeer Tarhini and Mahmoud Amer from the town of Nabatieh who were killed on Feb. 13, 2024, according to Mayadeen English, Feb. 2022.

Political annalist Hasan Dorr who is Amal's school principal and uncle, paid a heartwarming tribute to his niece the day she was killed on social media by tweeting:  

"Tomorrow there no Amal 

Tomorrow there no school

Tomorrow no "good morning uncle

Tomorrow no "take my picture" and send to it " daddy"

Tomorrow there is no innocent smile or "high five"

Amal doesn't resemble anyone 

Amal is like a dream, like dew

Tomorrow the sadness is as great it will be allover

What a loss my, dear niece. � 


In the past several decades, I wrote about several heart-wrenching stories of Palestinian and Lebanese children who were injured, murdered or kidnapped by the IOF, including Zaineb, Amera, Aysha, Jenan. And yes, I even wrote about the freed 4-year-old hostage Abigail, who is American-Israeli dual citizen. Children should not be fair game in war! 

Amal ( Hope in Arabic) is a special little girl with a contagious smile. Not long before the IOF snuffed her life, she drew a picture of the flag of Palestine at school on 8 x 10 paper and made sure her family took a picture with her proudly holding her drawing so he could keep it as a souvenir and to share later. Looking at her picture holding the flag warmed my heart.

With over 32,000 dead in Gaza including 9,000+ women and over 12,000 children since last October, have you ever wondered why the IOF targets women and children?  There are four reasons: 1) Because Israel knows no one care about these children. 2) The Israelis believe every Palestinian will potentially (sooner or later) want Israel off their land, out of their life, and forgotten like a horrible dream. 3) For the IOF, children are soft targets.4) Israeli Chief Rabbi issued a religious decree or "fatwa" sanctioning the rape and murder of women, and even killing children.

Unless Israel is held accountable, sanctioned for its crimes, and abides by the rules of civilized nations, Amal-like tragedy will not be the last. 

Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a Palestinian freelance writer and retired USA veteran who lives in Westerville, Ohio. He could be reached at: