The dead kids were among five children killed by the IDF in assaults on Gaza, which have seen 29 lives lost over these past few days alone. Over 800 Palestinian children have been killed since the start of the second intifada in 2000, some 22 per cent of the total tragedies.
For Israel and its complicit allies, they are just statistics, numbers on lists, nameless human beings with no valid identity or worth for their cold assassins perched safely in their armoured vehicles and political offices.
What kind of killing and killers are we dealing with here? The 'accidental' loss of infants by 'careless' soldiers? The 'necessary' removal of juvenile 'subversives' by Israel's 'defensive' forces?
Or another possibility: the child victims of a serial murdering state which takes deep psychological gratification in expressing power over its victims?
This is just the latest confirmation that Israel is waging a campaign of concerted terror on Gaza. And it fits squarely with the view that Gaza itself is being used as a mass concentration camp and laboratory within which to test and hone the multiple instruments of Israeli repression.
That terror also includes the calculated murder of children. And I use the word "calculated" here in its immediate sense. The primary target in this instance may have been a sincere man intent on reporting Israel's killing of children and other mass brutalities. But the boys lying at this scene of carnage also serves, like the slaying of the cameraman, as a chilling message from the serial killer state: I can take lives at my discretion, and I want you to know and feel that fear.
The psychopathic state knows, of course, that it may face a certain degree of 'diplomatic condemnation' over such actions. However, this is Palestine, where life is deemed not only cheap but usually not worth reporting by most of the Western media. And even when it is, the familiar "Israel says" line on the targeting of "militants" is always to the fore as a ready excuse.
Israel also, according to such reports, often "regrets" such deaths - which, translated from official-speak, means it regrets having been caught in the act of premeditated murder.
But even this paltry mitigation conceals a more disturbing calculus of serial murder. The 'reason' for eliminating journalists and cameramen doing their job of exposing Israeli war crimes is abundantly clear. But why target children? There appears to be a more deep-rooted perversion afoot here.
The psychology of occupation is premised on the daily reality of the occupied facing potential death and trauma at the hands of power. And the worst possibility of that terror is the prospect of one's children being killed or wounded. In the eyes of power, killing children becomes the most potent means of inflicting fear and punishment. Officials can deal with the public reaction, such as it is courtesy of an indifferent media. But the principal purpose of maintaining terror is served.
Here at 'home', kids are murdered, often horrifically, by individual killers. We express our obvious horror. Our little ones go missing and media-driven campaigns are initiated to help recover them. We see our children's vulnerabilities to harm from disturbed adults as the darkest of all nightmares.
Yet, men in uniforms extinguish the lives of Palestinian infants with brutal 'precision' weapons and we lower our heads in silence. Perhaps with a nod of disapproval or sadness, but not with the sense of outrage reserved for 'our' children.
In a sane world, Olmert and his fellow killers would, alongside Bush, Blair and their cohorts, be detained for psychiatric investigation, their ruthless and morally oblivious mindset treated as akin to the psychopathic serial killer.
Yet, the suggestion of such is treated as risible in 'our' society. 'Our' politicians and soldiers can't be viewed as such.
But why the polite distinction? The clue, of course, is in the 'our' pronoun, indicating the conscious and subconscious ways in which 'we' come to value the lives and well-being of those close to 'us', whether in familial, social or cultural settings.
Just as we are indoctrinated by the idea of respectable politicians and the legitimacy of their actions, however deadly, so are we imbued with the ideology of respectable militarism: 'proud regiments' and 'our boys' 'getting the job done' 'over there'.
Military life corrupts, particularly the minds of the already impressionable, violent and bigoted. The bit about 'hearts and minds', 'civil protection' and 'peace enforcement' may be sincerely evident in the beliefs and testimonies of soldiers. But this can't disguise the culture of barbarity they live with and help foster.
This mantle of respectable militarism is, in turn, mediated and promoted through the wider cultural prism. Amid the glowing praise for the world-touring Black Watch stage production, the Sunday Herald's theatre critic Mark Brown had the integrity to make this central and timely point:
"The production also lacks political courage. The overwhelming tenor of the piece (not least in the emails which a senior Black Watch officer sends home to his wife) is one of criticism of the politicians who ordered the Iraq War, but something dangerously close to glorification where the imperial history of the Black Watch regiment is concerned.Which, with that reminder of Britain's own dark deeds in Palestine, returns us to the real purpose of Israel's current terror and serial execution of children.
The famous "uniforms" scene (in which a soldier takes us on a tour of Black Watch deployments past) sanitises the dirty business of colonialism. If the play's international engagements had included Nairobi and Ramallah (where people remember the brutal events in which the Black Watch were involved), I suspect it would have received a less fulsome welcome than was the case in New York and Sydney."
Would the media confer the same kind of respectable status on a serial killer after the slaying of yet another set of victims? What makes such state-military actions exempt from being viewed as serial murder? Why are the executive planners of such slaughter not only absolved, but slavishly consulted on why their actions were deemed 'necessary'?
"Might is right" was the evil rationale of the Nazis, a dogma which the 'civilised' West have supposedly rejected in their promotion of 'humanitarian' and 'ethical' foreign policies. Yet, on close inspection, theirs is really just a dressed-up version of the same supportive 'logic'.
That sense of Western might permits and encourages Israel in its god-like omnipotence over weak and vulnerable Palestinians. And it secretes in Israel's psychopathic mindset a calculated understanding of how to effect its state terror to full advantage.
None of this is remotely up for discussion in BBC and other liberal analysis of the conflict. The very idea of castigating 'our' politicians and military in this way is unthinkable. Meanwhile, the serial killers of Palestinian children remain safely at large.