‘I See You at the Graveyard’: Gaza Horror Stories You Are Now Allowed to Know

On May 13, 2023, the Nabhan family received a phone call from the Israeli army, warning them of an imminent bombing of their residence. Belal Nabhan with two of his children with special needs. (Photo: Mahmoud Mushtaha, WANN, Supplied)

By Mahmoud Mushtaha

According to the Gaza Ministry of Social Development, 459 families were displaced as a result of the Israeli war. They are now homeless, totaling 2,516 people, including 1,180 children.

On May 9, Israel attacked Gaza with ferocity. For five days, it bombed the besieged Strip, killing 33 Palestinians and wounding hundreds more. Much of that horror, however, was not shown on television.

On May 13, 2023, the Nabhan family received a phone call from the Israeli army, warning them of an imminent bombing of their residence, located in the neighborhood of Jabalia, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Falestine and Belal Nabhan are both 35. They have four children with special needs. That harrowing call terrorized them.

“We were having dinner when the Israeli army called us and ordered us to evacuate our house in ten minutes,” Falestine told The Palestine Chronicle.

The Nabhan family. (Photo: Mahmoud Mushtaha, WANN, Supplied)


“Gripped by fear, I hastily dressed myself on the staircase. I also forgot to wear my hijab,” Falestine continued.

Her husband Belal told us that his first thoughts were focused only on the children.

“We only had ten minutes to leave our house,” he said. “Even for a healthy person this is hardly enough, imagine for a person with disabilities.”

“I was not even able to take their medications and wheelchairs with me,” Belal said, with the sadness of that moment still lingering.

The Nabhan family’s house, once filled with cherished memories, now lies in ruins. The family is now homeless.

“Where can we seek refuge? My disabled children did not deserve such a fate,” Falestine told us, in tears.

The Nabhan family remains without shelter since none of their relatives’ houses could accommodate their large number.

‘I Could See You’

The Banat family also fell victim to the devastating five-day Israeli attack on May 9, which destroyed their three-story home.

Faraj Banat, 38, is a father of six. During the latest war, he was at the funeral of a relative when he received a call from the Israeli army.

“I received a call from an Israeli intelligence officer. He ordered me to return home and he told me that he could see I was at the graveyard,” Banat told The Palestine Chronicle.

Banat told the officer that he is a simple farmer, with no connection to any Resistance movement. The Israeli officer, however, was adamant. “Go back and evacuate your family within 10 minutes,” he said.

Faraj Banat. (Photo: Mahmoud Mushtaha, WANN, Supplied)

Banat requested more time to gather his belongings or clothes before the bombing, but the Israeli officer refused.


Then, the Israeli officer asked him to warn his neighbors, because they intended to target the “entire square” – a reference to the whole block of houses.

“I will bomb your house and your two brothers’ houses,” the officer told Banat. The Israeli voice on the phone seemed bereft of any humanity.

The house, in fact, all the houses were destroyed as promised by the Israeli officer.

“More than ten families are now displaced,” Banat said. “Why did they bomb my house? Where should we live now?”

Their financial situation does not allow the Banat family to find an alternative housing solution. Therefore, the family is now living in a tent in front of their demolished home.

The Banat family. (Photo: Mahmoud Mushtaha, WANN, Supplied)

Lost Memories

In Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, another family is experiencing similar trauma.

On May 12, two Israeli F-16 destroyed a building belonging to the Taha family. In fact, this is not the first time the family loses their home due to the Israeli bombing.

“During the 2014 attack on Gaza, they bombed my home,” Samir Taha, 62, told The Palestine Chronicle.

“Our family remained homeless for two years before we could rebuild our home. And now, after all of that suffering, the Israeli occupation bombed our home again,” the man continued.

Samir’s son, Mohammed, told us that they were also warned 10 minutes before the bombardment to evacuate.

“More than 42 people lived in this building. We began running outside without taking anything,” Mohammed said. “This is not humane.”

The Taha family’s home after the Israeli bombardment. (Photo: Mahmoud Mushtaha, WANN, Supplied)

The Taha family plans to set up a tent in the proximity of their home until they are able to rebuild.

“Unfortunately, the tent does not protect us from cold and heat, nor is it able to protect us from stray dogs, but we have no alternative,” Mohammed said.

“I grew up in this home. I lived here and got married in it, but all our memories are lost now.”

In its continued attacks on besieged Gaza, Israel destroyed civilian infrastructure, buildings, and entire residential neighborhoods.

Various international human rights organizations said that Israel has committed what amounts to war crimes.

But this is what human rights experts often say. It neither prevented Israel from attacking and killing Palestinians, nor provided Palestinian victims with any justice, or even shelter.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Social Development, 459 families were displaced as a result of the Israeli war. They are now homeless, totaling 2,516 people, including 1,180 children.

– Mahmoud Mushtaha is a Gaza-based freelance Journalist and translator. WANN contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. Is there a way to help the families? Are there any organizations that are working with them to find housing and necessities for the children? No one deserves to be treated this way-it only serves to create more anger and hate.

  2. In my 45 years on this planet there is nothing that causes me more sadness and rage than the despicable acts of the occupying forces in Palestine. To steal ones land is bad, but to then treat the inhabitants with such utter disdain speaks to the blackness of the hearts of any and all who commit these atrocities. Likewise, any who support it.
    From Australia, a land of such abundance, I feel sick that I cannot do more to give these men, women and CHILDREN a semblance of the life they DESERVE.

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