‘O Lord, Let Me Die First’ – Who is Haneen Qashtan, Palestinian Journalist Killed by Israel in Gaza

Palestinian journalist Haneen al-Qashtan was killed by an Israeli airstrike on December 17. (Photo: Supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

“Oh Lord, let me be the first one in my family to die, so I will not have to endure the pain of their death,” Haneen wrote on Facebook. Then, Israel killed her. 

The ongoing Israeli war on Gaza has not spared any sector of Palestinian society. 

Men, women, and children, doctors, teachers, and even UN workers. Everyone and everything has been a target. 

But even those, in fact especially those, who tried to convey the horrors of the Israeli genocide in Gaza, also fell victim. 

According to the Gaza Government Media Office, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 106 journalists in 86 days of aggression on the Gaza Strip. In many cases, the journalists have been killed along with their families. 

But many other journalists, intellectuals, and writers who may not necessarily operate within a recognized media establishment have been killed. The devastating number of killed journalists is likely to grow in coming days and weeks. 

One of the latest victims is Haneen al-Qashtan, a young Palestinian female journalist from the Nuseirat refugee camp. She was killed on December 17 by an Israeli airstrike that targeted her house, in the central Gaza Strip. 

Severe Anxiety 

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to two people who knew Haneen very well, her sister and her friend Faryal Muhammad. 

“My sister Haneen has always been afraid of the violent Israeli bombing and she wished the war could end soon, but she left this world before her wish came true”, Haneen’s sister, who asked us not to be named, told us. 

“A few days before she was killed, she told me that she would have needed at least one year of therapy to overcome the trauma,” she continued, explaining that Haneen suffered from severe anxiety.

Haneen’s anxiety was shared by most people here, for a reason explained by a simple question, raised by Haneen’s sister.

“How could you feel when you are sitting in your home and the whole area is being bombed? The situation is very difficult, and the occupation has not shown any mercy,” she said. 

Despite the fear, however, Haneen was determined not to leave her home. 

In fact, when her colleague Mohammed called her and asked her to move to Rafah, Haneen still refused.

“She thanked him for his concern but insisted that she would not leave her home even if she had to die there,” her sister recalled. 

Tragically, she did.

‘Let Me Die First’ 

“I am very strong, but not strong enough to go through the whole night alone, as we see death several times every night,” Haneen wrote in a post on her Facebook account a few hours before her death.

“Oh Lord, let me be the first one in my family to die, so I will not have to endure the pain of their death,” Haneen added. 

Indeed, a few days before an Israeli bombing prematurely ended her life, Haneen told her friend, Faryal Muhammad, that her biggest fear was the death of her family members. 

Muhammad told The Palestine Chronicle that Haneen confided in her, saying: “I don’t want to see them dead, I don’t want to bear the pain of losing them”.

Haneen was killed along with her parents, her sister Linda, and her brothers Atef and Shadi, all perished together in Nuseirat, without anyone having to bear the pain alone of being the only survivor.

Haneen worked as a producer for the Baladna media channel and as a news editor for the Ahwal Al-Bilad (Affairs of the Homeland) website. 

Until her last hours, Haneen never stopped conveying to the world the horrific realities of the Israeli war on Gaza.

(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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  1. Zionist scumbags are doing this. it’s been years, decades! all we’ve heard is empty promises from the international community. when will this end? when Israelica decides enough children have died.
    i OBJECT!

    • My fiancee, knowing full well she could be killed, volunteered as a medic, Nasser Hospital, Khan Yunis.
      Haven’t heard from her for days now…
      There is this psychopath, this murderous thug Netenyahu and his Zionists who puts Adolf Hitler to shame, the murderous swine…

  2. I am going to suggest full investigations be utilized, in all such cases. There are many atrocities in war, we all know that… A truly free press must be respected and fully utilized. We are talking about the voices of millions of people, living in war like conditions…

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