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Toll of conflict strikes home as cameraman finds brother dead

  • Story Highlights
  • Mahmoud died after a rocket hit his family's home as he played on the roof
  • Freelance cameraman filming war scenes finds out brother is dead and films death
  • Boy's family claims the rocket was fired by a pilotless Israeli drone
  • But Israel denies that it intentionally targets civilians
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(CNN) -- At a Gaza hospital, doctors tried to revive a 12-year-old victim of the violence, but their efforts were in vain. Mahmoud died.

Recording the tragedy at the hospital was his brother, freelance cameraman Ashraf Mashharawi.

Just a short time earlier, Mashharawi had been filming other, less personal images of the war-- scenes like incoming missiles and the damage they do. Then, he got a phone call. Mashharawi was told the family home had been hit by a rocket.

His brother, Mahmoud and his 14-year-old cousin Ahmad, had been allowed to play on the roof after days of being cooped up inside as Israel continued its assault on Gaza.

Both boys died after the rocket hit.

The family had believed their house -- now pockmarked by shrapnel and splattered with blood -- was safe from the conflict. The family says the rocket was fired by a pilotless Israeli drone.

Mashharawi filmed the doctors' efforts to save his brother's life at the hospital; he also captured images of relatives cradling the boy wrapped in a white sheet after his death. Why? Because he said his family wanted the world to see the human toll of the conflict.

Just hours after play turned to death, Mahmoud was laid to rest.

Israel says it does not target civilians and it does all it can to avoid civilian casualties. Israel says it is unaware of the incident in this report.

All About Gaza CityIsrael

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