Graduation ceremonies are supposed to be a joyous occasion for students and their families. It is a moment that people cherish for the rest of their lives.
However, for students in Gaza this year, it was a rather morose affair since it was held less than a month after Israel stopped its military offensive that claimed over 2,200 Palestinian lives in the course of almost fifty days.
Of those killed, about 1,462 (or 70 percent) were civilians, among them 495 children and 253 women.
Students at the University College of Applied Sciences in Gaza City attended the ceremony this week as they sat behind posters of students who were going to be among graduates but were killed during the conflict.
Here are some of the most heartbreaking images from the ceremony:
Graduates attend their ceremony as they hold posters of students who died during the Israeli onslaught.
A Palestinian woman cries as she holds a picture of her son, who was killed during the offensive, during a graduation ceremony where he was supposed to be among those receiving a degree.