Occupation: Student
Age: 10

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Ahmed Salem Issa Mohammed (Bilal)

Belal, 10-year-old, was in the fourth grade at primary school; studying and playing with his friends—that’s all he knew. He lived with his family in the Egyptian town of Rafah, near the Palestinian border, and like other people in Rafah, he was accustomed to hearing the sounds of bullets and shells being fired by the Israeli army on the Palestinian side of the border.

Belal’s story is a short one, on the “Friday of Anger,” January 28, 2011, the sound of shooting was heard everywhere in Rafah City, and in particular from the direction of the State Security building and Central Security Camp. After a brief period of calm, Bilal asked his mother if he could go out to buy something but his mother said, “What about the gunfire?”, He replied “Do not be afraid mother, if I die I will be a martyr,” he said with a smile. Soon the sound of clashes increased and people came out of their homes to see what was happening, among them was Bilal, whose house was 300 meters from the Rafah police station. After leaving his home he was hit by two bullets in the back and fell to the ground. He was hurried to Al-Arish Hospital to try to save his life but died on the way before he reached the hospital.

The Directorate of Education of North Sinai named two elementary schools in Rafah after “Martyr Bilal Salem Issa School,” to honor his name.