‘She Never Returned Home’ – Palestinians Children Remember Their Mothers, Killed in Israeli Airstrikes

Umm Khalid was killed by an Israeli airstrike while wearing her new dress. (Photo: Supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

Like other Arab women, Palestinian women celebrated Mother’s Day on March 21. This year, however, this anniversary is marked by war and displacement. 

On this special occasion in Gaza, there were little festivities, no special cards and children carrying sweets and flowers to their moms. 

In fact, for many children, there will be no mothers to celebrate anymore as well over 9,000 Palestinian women have been killed since the beginning of the war. Moreover, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement on X on Thursday that the Israeli war on Gaza has been killing an average of 37 mothers daily since October 7.

‘A New Dress’

Abeer Abu Louz is 20 years old and she was very attached to her mother. Every year, on March 21, Mother’s Day in Palestine, she rushed to the market to buy a present for her.

This year, however, Mother’s Day was a very sad anniversary for Abeer. In the first week of December, soon after the end of a one-week truce, her mother was killed by an Israeli airstrike that targeted a popular market in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza. 

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“My mother was beautiful and had a kind heart, everybody called her Umm Khalid,” Abeer told The Palestine Chronicle.

“She had bought a new dress for herself a few days before the war. She wanted to wear it for a family event at the end of October. But when the war broke out, she never had the chance to wear it,” Abeer continued. 

“Soon after the truce, last December, she put on the new dress and went to the market. She looked like a beautiful bride, but she never returned home from that day.”

Abeer still cries, inconsolably, thinking of her mother. 

“It’s been four months since her martyrdom, but we still live with the sorrow of losing our beautiful mother.”

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Looking at Her Picture

Maram Abu Sultan is only fourteen years old. Her mother and siblings were killed by an Israeli airstrike that destroyed their family home. Now, the girl lives with her father, sister and brother in her grandfather’s house.

“I wished that my mother was here so I could give her a gift on Mother’s Day as I did every year, but she is not with us anymore,” Maram told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“I have been crying the whole day, as I saw my cousins showing their mothers with congratulations. I kept looking at my mother’s picture, life without her is unbearable,” she said. 

Now, Maram’s main fear is that an Israeli airstrike could kill her father, too.

“My father is sick with cancer, and the martyrdom of my mother and siblings has worn him out a lot. I hope he stays alive and Israeli rockets do not reach him,” she said, sobbing. 

“I wish the war would stop, and that God protects all mothers for their children. Take care of your mothers before you lose them or you will regret that forever.”

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My First Joy

Yazan Al-Saedi also lost his mother during the first weeks of the war, when Israeli occupation forces targeted his grandfather’s house in the Nuseirat camp, in central Gaza. 

“My two siblings and I were injured, and my grandfather told me that my mother was wounded and she is receiving treatment in the hospital,” Yazan told The Palestine Chronicle. 

“But I know that something happened, because we haven’t seen her for several months now. I miss her so much and my only wish is to see her again.”

Sadly, Yazan’s grandmother, Fayza Al-Fiqi, told us that her daughter Ola was killed on that tragic day and that, since then, she is taking care of her three children. 

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“Every day they ask me about their mother, and they ask me to call her. They still do not know that she was martyred from an Israeli bombing,” she continued.

“My grandchildren are very young and I don’t know if they are able to bear their mother’s loss. I do not know how to convey the news that she will never return. I don’t know how these children will be able to continue their lives.”

“Mother’s Day has reopened new wounds for my family. We all remember my beautiful, cheerful daughter Ola. She was the one who always congratulated me first on that day. But the occupation killed my eldest daughter, my first joy, and now we need to learn how to survive without her,” Fayza concluded.

(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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