Gaza boy killed by Israel dreamed of becoming soccer player

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa, 13, always wore his Real Madrid shirt when he played soccer with his friends. He died wearing the same shirt, killed by Israeli forces before the second half of a game with friends could be finished. His father said Hamid would imitate Real Madrid star Ronaldo while playing in front of his Gaza home.

"My house is located in an area away from clashes, nearly one and a half kilometers away from the nearest point of the borders with Israel, therefore I didn't have a problem with my son playing in front of the house," Hamid's father told Ma'an. "I received a phone call. His friend was on the phone telling me that my son was shot in the chest. I rushed to the hospital and found him dying."

Hamid would never miss a Real Madrid game.

"Despite me pushing him to focus on his schoolwork, he would be mesmerized in front of the TV screen watching games," his father said.

Hamid used to play soccer every day for 30 minutes before sundown, his attention focused on the ball, blocking out the sound of Israeli helicopters.

It was during a game he loved that Hamid was killed, his white Real Madrid shirt stained red as the bullets hit him.

Medics said Hamid was hit by machine gun fire, either from Israeli helicopters or tanks, during an incursion into the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said at the time that reports of injuries were being checked.

Hamid's funeral took place on Friday, a Palestinian flag draped over his body.