Killing the Kids While Searching for Their Mom’s Body – Israel’s Crimes Reach New Heights

Two members of the al-Abash family who were killed in an Israeli bombing of Nuseirat. (Photo: supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with Az Al-Din al-Habash, who lost several family members in a bombing on Nuseirat.

Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza for nearly six months has killed and wounded well over 100,000 Palestinians, inflicting an unprecedented level of destruction in the besieged Strip. 

At least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. Indeed, Gaza’s civil defense has stated, on many occasions, that thousands of bodies remain under the rubble of destroyed buildings, due to the lack of equipment.

Moreover, Israeli forces have systematically targeted civilians and civil defense crews who tried to retrieve wounded and dead bodies from under the debris of collapsed buildings. 

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On March 17, an Israeli bombing carried out a massacre in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza. Over 25 Palestinians were killed and scores were injured, as at least 17 residential houses were completely or partially destroyed. 

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with Az Al-Din al-Habash, who lost several family members on that tragic night. 

“We learned that my aunt’s family house in Nuseirat had been subjected to an Israeli bombing, so we rushed there only to find his house completely destroyed,” al-Habash told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We ran on foot with my cousins and other relatives. We were among the first to arrive at the house, where the family was taking refuge,” he continued.

What they saw, however, was shocking. 

“The building had been completely erased, there were only a few remains,” al-Habash said.

“We all searched for my aunt, her children, and her husband. We knew they were under the rubble, but we did not know if they were dead or alive,” he continued.

The situation was complicated by the fact that both the ambulance and civil defense did not possess heavy equipment to remove the rubble. 

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Desperate Search

“My young cousin, Muhammad, survived the bombing but he was desperate. He spent two days looking for his mother, father, and brothers amid the ruins,” al-Habash said, with deep emotion.

“He could not stop crying during the search. He kept calling for his mother, father, and brothers, telling us he felt they were still alive.”

The search continued despite the total destruction and the lack of equipment, to no avail. 

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“My uncle Issa, who was the owner of the building, shared Muhammad’s feeling and he did everything in his power to save his sister and her family,” al-Habash continued. 

“He made many calls and after two days, he managed to find a private bulldozer to remove the rubble and complete the search process.”

Honor Denied

The following day, Issa al-Habash reached the place with the bulldozer owner. He also managed to buy fuel, at a very high price, since no fuel is available in Gaza at the moment. He was determined to look for his family.

But as soon as Issa, the driver, and Muhammad, the only survivor of the bombing, arrived, they were suddenly bombed by Israeli planes. 

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“They were martyred while trying to retrieve the bodies of their beloved family members,” al-Habash explained.

“We buried Issa and Muhammad but we were not able to bury my aunt and the other victims of this Israeli crime because their bodies are still under the rubble,” he continued. 

“The occupation has deprived us of their presence in our lives, the chance to bid them farewell, and even the honor of being buried in a Muslim cemetery,” al-Habash said, in tears.

(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

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