Palestinian refugee Saad al-Jamal had long dreamed of owning a pet lion. He has realised his lifetime ambition by acquiring two lion cubs.

He said he bought the two-month-old cubs from the Rafah Zoo. The cubs' parents are believed to have been smuggled into Gaza through a tunnel along the border with Egypt nearly three years ago.

Mr al-Jamal is raising the two cubs at his home in the Al-Shabora refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. His family has named the female cub Mona, and the male one Alex.

Mr al-Jamal's grandchildren love playing with the cubs, stroking them and having a kick-about. One can't help thinking it might all end in tears, though.

Gaza pet lion cubs
The grandchildren of Saad al-Jamal play with one of two lion cubs outside their family house in the Rafah refugee campSaid Khatib/AFP
Gaza pet lion cubs
Saad al-Jamal's grandchildren pet two lion cubs outside their family house in the Rafah refugee campSaid Khatib/AFP
Gaza pet lion cubs
Palestinian refugee Saad al-Jamal holds two lion cubs outside his house in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Gaza pet lion cubs
Saad al-Jamal and two of his grandchildren play with one of his two African lion cubs inside his house at Al-Shabora refugee camp in RafahIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Gaza pet lion cubs
A grandson of Saad al-Jamal holds a lion cub outside his family house in the refugee campSaid Khatib/AFP
Gaza pet lion cubs
Saad al-Jamal and his grandson sit with his two lion cubsIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Gaza pet lion cubs
Children play with the pet lion cubsSaid Khatib/AFP