‘I Just Want My Son to Live’ – The Unparalleled Tragedy of Gaza’s Mohammed Zayed

Israel has intensified its attacks on the central region of the Gaza Strip. (Photo: via Eye on Palestine)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

Starting on Sunday, Israel intensified its attacks on the central region of the Gaza Strip. The immediate outcome was a massacre in the Maghazi refugee camp, which killed over 70 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more.

Then, the Israeli bombardment expanded to reach the Bureij and Nuseirat refugee camps, also in central Gaza. 

The latter refugee camp has been targeted with great intensity since the start of the war. Thousands were killed and wounded.

A short respite was interrupted in recent days, more bombs resulting in the killing of whole families while huddling by each other’s side in their homes, UN shelters or even sleeping in the streets.

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The Palestine Chronicle spoke to Mohammed Zayed, a young refugee from Nuseirat, whose family home was targeted in an Israeli strike on Thursday, December 21.

This is his testimony: 

‘I Dreaded Lifting the Blanket’

“I was sitting with my father, my mother, my two sisters, and my sons Hussein and Mus’ab. We had just finished performing the afternoon prayer. We sat down and started to talk about when this war will end. 

“My younger son, Mu’ath, was playing outside the house. Suddenly, a massive explosion, resulting from an Israeli missile that hit the house. I woke up wounded at a hospital.

“When I woke up, I was all bandaged. The first thing I said, ‘What happened to my family?’ The doctor said, ‘If you can walk, we would like you to come to the room dedicated to the martyrs to see if you can recognize them’. My worst nightmare has actualized.

“The first I recognized was my mother, then my father. The Israeli missile had separated him into two halves. Then, I recognized my sister, she was a high school student. 

“I feared raising the blanket off the fourth martyr. I collected my courage and removed the blanket. It was my son Mus’ab. He was in the fifth grade. My favorite little darling. He was so close to me, and I always kept him nearby. An Israeli missile has taken him away from me forever. 

“Aside from the four killed, my wife was injured. My son Mu’ath was okay as he was several meters away from the house. I found him sobbing, asking about his mom and dad. 

“Then, I found my brother Shadi, he was outside the house at the moment of the explosion but I could not find my son Hussein. I looked everywhere for him at Al-Awda Hospital in Nuseirat but I could not find him. 

“Then I asked the ambulance workers to drive me to another hospital to see if other family members are there. They took me to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. I found my son Hussein. He was wounded. He was in a critical condition. The shrapnel had hit him in the head and in the abdomen. He is still there in the intensive care unit between life and death.

“My father worked at the UN refugees agency UNRWA. He was with UNRWA for many years. My mother was a kind woman, loved by all. Everybody who was in the house at the moment were good people. 

“The occupation has deprived us of everything we hold dear. When will this war stop? When will the Israeli crimes stop? All my thoughts right now are focused on my son Hussein. I want him to live. I want this war to completely stop.”

(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

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