Father, daughter live in misery after family killed in Israeli bombing

Jun 05,2021

Home of Palestinian family targeted directly by 6 rockets in Gaza Strip.

The Israeli fighter jet attack claimed lives of the mother, Yasemin Hassan, 30, her sons Yusuf, 11, Bilal, 9, Yamin, 6, and daughter Maryam, 8.

The same attack killed Maha from the Hadidi family and her sons Suhaib, 14, Yahya,11, Abdurrahman, 8, and Osama, 6, who were visiting Abu Hatab family to celebrate the Eid.

Omar, five-month-old son of the Hadidi family, and Maria, four-year-old daughter of the Ebu Hatab family, were rescued from the debris of the targeted house.

As in many parts of Gaza, the Israeli attack turned the lives of the Abu Hatab family upside down.

Now, the remaining are father Alaa and daughter Maria from the family of seven people. The two are trying to hold on to life by bonding with each other.

The experiences of Maria, who was left alone with her father at the very beginning of her life, is like a summary of the pain Israel inflicted on the Palestinians in Gaza.

The good memories of the Abu Hatab family were buried in the rubble of the flattened house.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Alaa stated that he himself and his two sisters have grown up as orphans since childhood.

Recalling the day of attack, Alaa said his sister Maha visited them with her five sons to celebrate the Eid.

He went on saying that the bombing took place while he was going out to buy bread.

"The explosion sound came from a nearby area and smoke billows were rising. We ran towards the area of attack and I found out that it was my home that was targeted. Our home collapsed while my wife and children, my sister and her children were inside. It was a great disaster for me, I had a nervous breakdown. I couldn't stand it and passed out. When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital," Alaa said.

He stated that the attack was carried out without any warning shots and that there was no one who warned them by phone earlier.

"They directly hit the house with six rockets and destroyed it over their [relatives] head. They had no way of getting rid of the shrapnel pieces, nor the concrete and iron piles. The shredded bodies were exhumed while all of them were missing limbs. Their limbs are still sticking out from under the rubble," he said.

Stating that he still does not understand why the attack in which ten people, including eight children and two women, lost their lives took place.

"I can't get over this terrible massacre. No human can do this. Really, those who committed this massacre cannot be human ... Why did they demolish the house on their heads? There were women and children in the house. I don't know what they did to the Jews … Did they fire rockets at the Jews? Did they shoot at them, what did they do to them? They were probably looking for these innocent civilians, so they hit the house."

Stating that his little daughter Maria was sleeping in her room at the time of the attack and that she was thrown from the window of their house to the stairs of the building next door in the explosion, the father said: "They found her on the stairs screaming. Her head was bleeding and she was calling her mother. My child was in a state of shock, covered in blood and dust."

Maria was in the middle of the explosion and experienced great pain, Alaa said, adding: "Those terrible explosions, debris, destruction, fear, black dust, smoke, flames, the burning fire all these were engraved in her memory.

Noting that Maria did not talk to many people after the attack and that she needed serious psychological support, Alaa said: "Maria sometimes asks 'where is my mother,' I say 'she went to heaven'."

Alaa became homeless and had nowhere to go as their house was destroyed and stayed at his friends' and sometimes at neighbors'.

He left Maria at her grandmother's house, said the Palestinian father.

Explaining that he is the child of a Palestinian refugee family who had to leave their home in the city of Ashkelon and settled in Gaza due to Israeli practices, Alaa said: "Me and my children's dream was to live in safety and peace ... They wanted to return to their land, their hometown Ashkelon."

Anadolu News Agency