His personal tragedy is not unique: the U.N. says minors make up one-fifth of the 299 Palestinians killed in 11 days of intense Israeli bombardment of the densely populated Gaza Strip, where half the 1.7 million people are under age 18.
The Israeli military says it's doing its utmost to spare civilians by urging residents to leave areas that are about to be shelled or bombed as Hamas targets. It accuses the Islamic militants of using civilians as human shields by firing rockets from civilian areas.
But even if urged to evacuate, most Gazans have no safe place to go, rights activists say.
"If you are going to attack civilian structures in densely populated areas, of course you are going to see children killed," said Bill Van Esveld, a researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch.
Seventy-one of those killed since fighting began on July 8 were under 18, according to an Associated Press count based on information provided by Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra. Forty-eight of the victims were under the age of 13.
Many of the children were killed in their own homes.
Early Friday, a 5-month-old baby boy was hit by shrapnel from a missile strike near his family compound in the southern town of Rafah. A day earlier, two brothers and a cousin were killed by shrapnel while feeding pigeons on the roof of their home.
One deadly incident drew particular outrage. Four cousins, aged 9 to 11, had been playing on the beach near Gaza City's harbor on Wednesday when a missile fired from an Israeli gunboat hit a nearby shack. The boys fled, but were killed in a second missile strike.
The images of small, bloodied bodies lying face down in the sand triggered harsh international criticism, including from U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon who said Israel must "do far more to stop civilian casualties."
The Israeli military said Hamas operatives were the target, and promised to investigate.