‘My Wife Does Not Know that Our Children are Dead’: Gaza Speaks to the World – SPECIAL REPORT

Tamer al-Taweel, 7, was killed in Gaza. His friend Zohdi sends him a message every day: 'I was hoping that we could play football together'. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

You know about the numbers of Palestinian victims of the ongoing barbaric Israeli attack on Gaza, but what about the names and faces behind those numbers? Palestine Chronicle correspondent Abdallah Aljamal reports from Gaza.

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced during a press conference on Monday that the total number of Palestinian casualties since the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza has risen to 5,087 Palestinians. 

Those killed include 2,055 children, 1,119 women, and 217 elderly.  Additionally, an estimated 15,273 were injured. 

According to the ministry, 70% of the victims are children and women. There are also 1,500 reports of missing individuals under the rubble, including 830 children.

Meanwhile, UNRWA schools throughout the Gaza Strip are currently overcrowded with thousands of Palestinian families who tried to escape Israeli airstrikes by seeking refuge in the headquarters of international institutions.

Alas, no place is safe right now in Gaza. Schools, hospitals, mosques and churches have been repeatedly targeted by intense Israeli shelling since the beginning of the war.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to some of the survivors of the ongoing Israeli war in central Gaza. 

‘My Wife Does Not Know that Our Children are Dead’

Musa Azmi, 34, has lost his mother, father, siblings, and two of his children in the Israeli shelling of his family house, located in the Nuseirat camp, in central Gaza.

“I lost my 5-year-old daughter, Nada, and my 2-year-old son, Mustafa, in an Israeli shelling,” Musa told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“I now have only my 7-year-old son, Azmi, who has been in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for more than a week now. 

“He is suffering from severe complications. Both legs are broken and doctors had to insert metal plates. 

“My wife was also seriously injured, and her foot was amputated. She suffered severe burns on her body, and she is still at the hospital.”

Azmi’s tragedy gets worse. “My wife and son do not know about the deaths of our children, because I wanted to protect their physical and psychological health,” Musa told us.

“In actuality, my heart is torn with pain; my two little children have been lying under the ground for a week now. They were buried together in the same grave with their grandfather.”

‘I Want to Play Football’: Zohdi and Tamer

Zohdi Abu al-Rus is only 7 years old. Every day, he sends a message to his friend Tamer al-Taweel, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike on his home.

“Tamer, where are you? I wanted to play football with you and go to the World Cup together. May God have mercy on you, Tamer,” Zohdi wrote in his latest message.

Zohdi’s father told The Palestine Chronicle that the boy is traumatized by his friend Tamer’s death. 

“Zohdi has changed a lot since his friend Tamer al-Taweel was killed,” he told us. 

“Zohdi wakes up every day to the sounds of the bulldozers and only sleeps when they stop in the evening. He sits by the door, as if he’s waiting for his friend to come out, alive. He does not want to accept the reality that Tamer has been killed and buried.” 

‘Calming My Daughter’s Fear’

With each Israeli airstrike, the cries and screams of children become louder. 

The sound, which comes from a distance, gets closer and closer, and is followed by  the sound of missiles hitting their targets – civilian homes – and finally, the loud bangs of subsequent explosions. 

All of this happens within seconds, but it seems like a lifetime in the minds of Palestinian children.

“I spend most of my time calming my daughter’s fear,” the mother of 8-year-old Rahab Salah told The Palestine Chronicle.

“Every time there is an airstrike, she rushes towards me, trembling with fear. I tell her that the shelling is far away, but the loud sounds generate panic among our children.”

“I hope that people around the world can stand by our side to end this aggression and save our children’s lives from the brutality of the (Israeli) occupation and its brutal shelling.”

(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.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out