31 Martyrs in a Single Israeli Strike – Voices from the Gaza Genocide

Diaa Mubarak, 39, was killed by an Israeli strike in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza. (Photo: Supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle gathered eyewitness accounts from Nuseirat and spoke to the survivors of Israeli massacres. 

Over the last eight months, Israeli forces have carried out relentless strikes throughout the war-torn Gaza Strip. 

One of the most targeted areas since the beginning of Israel’s genocidal war on October 7, has been the central refugee camp of Nuseirat.

Only this month, scores of Palestinians were killed and wounded in Nuseirat, where Israeli strikes have wiped out entire families. 

The Palestine Chronicle gathered eyewitness accounts from Nuseirat and spoke to the survivors of Israeli massacres. 

31 Killed in One Strike

On May 18, Israeli occupation forces bombed a residential area in the Nuseirat refugee camp. The bombing resulted in the killing of 31 Palestinians, while many others were injured or missing, according to the Civil Defense teams.

“It was a Saturday evening and we heard the sound of intense Israeli shelling near our house, so we rushed to the bombing site,” Nahed Ibrahim told the Palestine Chronicle.

“We found great destruction in a residential area near the Al-Rahma Mosque in the new camp of Nuseirat. Israeli forces had targeted the house of our neighbor,” he continued.

The building belonged to Hajj Abu Khaled Hassan, a retired employee of the Palestinian Authority, who owned a tobacco shop and, according to his neighbor, was not involved in politics.

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Since the beginning of the war, Hajj Hassan had opened his house, which became a shelter for displaced people.

The Israeli bombing resulted in the complete destruction of a residential area, damage to dozens of houses, and the killing of 31 Palestinians, including many children.  Civil defense teams have been working for days to search for the missing.

“We extracted from under the rubble of the destroyed houses the remains of children, women, and elderly people. They are the true objective of Israeli targets,” Ibrahim told us. 

We Kept Digging 

According to the Gaza government’s media office, Israeli forces have committed many massacres against families in the Gaza Strip, leading to the removal of hundreds of families from the Palestinian civil registry.

“My family lost my uncle’s only son in an Israeli airstrike on a house in the New Camp area (a neighborhood within Nuseirat – PC) of Nuseirat on May 10,” Jihad Mubarak told us. 

Mubarak said that Diaa, 39, was the only male child for his parents. He was responsible for raising his sisters and children after his father was killed in the Israeli war on Gaza in 2012.

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Diaa, who had three sisters to look after, had graduated several years ago from the Al-Aqsa University and worked as a teacher at the Martyrs of Al-Aqsa School.

“Diaa was a handsome and calm young man with no affiliation to any Palestinian organization. He took care of his family after his father’s martyrdom,” Mubarak told us.

On that day, Diaa went to buy something for his family, but he was killed by an Israeli airstrike. 

“In the beginning, we couldn’t find Diaa’s body. He remained under the rubble as there were no tools to search for him,” Mubarak said. “We continued to dig for 24 hours and we eventually found him under the rubble of a destroyed house.”

Latest School Massacre 

Aside from residential areas and civilian infrastructure, schools and hospitals became a target of Israeli relentless massacres. 

A large number of schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have been targeted during the war. Many of them had become shelters for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes. 

“We were forced to flee our home in northern Gaza at the beginning of the war and after a long displacement journey, we reached Nuseirat, and we are now living in an UNRWA school in the camp,” Manar Wadi told us. 

The school is the Jaouni institute, which was bombed three times during the war.

The latest bombing, on Friday, May 17, resulted in the killing and wounding of scores of Palestinians.

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“The bombing happened right in front of the classroom where I live, in the evening. If it had happened in the morning, my children would have been among the injured or martyrs. We don’t feel safe anywhere in Gaza, at this point,” Wadi added.

Shaimaa Aldura lives in the same school. Her husband was killed in a bombing and since then, her children live in a constant state of fear .

“We thought that UNRWA shelter schools would be safer than other shelter camps, but the occupation bombs everywhere in the Gaza Strip without restraint,” she said.

Thaer Masleh is only a child but life has already been very harsh on him. 

“I used to live in the Bureij refugee camp. Now I live in a school in Nuseirat. My life during the war is sad,” he told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“I dream that the war ends, that we can return to our lives in Bureij and rebuild our house, which was destroyed by the occupation.”

“My mother doesn’t allow me to go out to the schoolyard now. I used to play with my refugee friends, but now my mother fears for my life and tries to keep me inside the classroom most of the time,” Thaer said.

“Our life before the war was beautiful. I used to play with my friends and go to school every day. Now everything is difficult, and we lost everything we loved,” he concluded.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a contributor for The Palestine Chronicle from the Gaza Strip. His email is abdallahaljamal1987@gmail.com

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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