The Bakr Boys: Israeli military attack in the fishing beach in Gaza in which 4 children were killed during "Operation Protective Edge"

HCJ 8008/20, Atef Ahad Subhi Bakr et al v. Military Advocate General et al

On 16 July 2014, during the military offensive in the Gaza Strip that Israel named “Operation Protective Edge”, a small group of children between the ages of 9-12, brothers and cousins from the Bakr family, went out to play on the fishing beach west of Gaza City. The children were playing near residential buildings and hotels where many foreign journalists were staying. At around 15:30-16:00 Israeli naval forces fired missiles that killed four children of the Bakr family – Ahed (9 years), Zakaria (10 years), Mohammed (11 years), and Ismail (9 years). Six other civilians were also wounded in the missile attack, including four children from the same extended Bakr family.


Shortly after the killing incident Adalah, Al-Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights demanded from the Military AG to open an independent investigation as required by international law, and that the perpetrators be held accountable.


Following the AG's decision in 2019 to adopt the Military AG's closure of the investigation, the organizations filed a petition on behalf of the parents the Israeli Supreme Court overturn it, and order the opening of a criminal investigation that will lead to the prosecution of those responsible for the killing.



Case Citation: HCJ 8008/20, Atef Ahad Subhi Bakr et al v. Military Advocate General et al


Press Releases:


Adalah demands investigations into killings of 7 children in two different incidents of suspected war crimes in Gaza 28 July 2014


Israeli military closes investigation into killing of four children on Gaza beach 15 June 2015


Israeli AG fails to respond – for two years - to appeals against closure of investigation into Bakr boys' killings during 2014 Gaza war 27 August 2017

Revealed: Israeli military launched missiles at kids playing on Gaza beach in 2014 without first identifying targets 13 February 2018


Adalah: Israeli drone attack that killed four Gaza boys demonstrates criminal reckless disregard for human life 14 August 2018


Israeli Supreme Court will hear the Bakr Boys case re: the closure of the investigation into their killing by the Israeli military during 2014 Gaza War



Timeline and List of relevant documents [Hebrew]:


18 July 2014 Adalah and  Al Mezan submitted a request to launch an investigation into the case to the Military Advocate General (MAG), the Minister of Defense and the Advocate General (AG).


23 August 2014 Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) submitted a request to launch an investigation into the case to the MAG


10 September 2014 response from MAG that there is a reasonable ground to suspect that the attack was carried out contrary to rules binding on IDF forces and therefore, it ordered the opening of an investigation to be carried out by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID).


15 September 2014 Adalah and Al Mezan responded to the MAG stressing, among other things, the obligation to open an independent investigation that meets the requirements of international law.


11 June 2015 the MAG sent a notice of the closure of the case and the reasons for closing.


23 July 2015 Adalah sent a request for access to the investigatory materials on which the decision to close the case was based, and argued that the procedure was not in compliance with international law.


12 August 2015 PCHR submitted an appeal against the MAG's decision to close the investigation (prior to receiving the requested investigation materials)


23 August 2015 Adalah and Al Mezan submitted an appeal against the Military AG's decision to close the investigation (prior to receiving the investigation materials)


18 December 2017, the petitioners were invited to review the investigatory materials after repeated requests sent over a year and a half, in which also several reminders were sent.


28 January 2018 in light of their review of the investigatory materials, Adalah, Al Mezan, and PCHR filed supplementary arguments for our appeal to the State Prosecutor’s Office.


27 July 2019 petitioners submitted an additional response after watching the video footage documenting the incident


09 September 2019 letter received containing the AG's decision to dismiss the appeal and fully adopt the conclusions reached by the MAG and the MPCID 


25 February 2021 Preliminary response on behalf of the state   


10 January 2022 minutes of the hearing