Yousef, the Groom-to-Be, was Killed in an Israeli Strike

Yousef Al-Jamal was killed by an Israeli airstrike soon before his wedding. (Photo: Supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

“I didn’t know how to break the news to Yousef’s bride, I don’t know the words suitable for such a situation.”

“We completed all the engagement ceremonies for Yousef, and we prepared Saturday, October 7, 2023, to announce his engagement and hold the public ceremony,” Mr. Abdul Salam Al-Jamal, Yousef’s father, told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We chose the Palestine Mosque in the city of Deir al-Balah to make the announcement, and we invited all of our loved ones. However, due to the war, we had to postpone Yousef’s engagement announcement,” he continued, adding:

“Yousef is my second son. I named him Yousef in tribute to my honorable father, the sheikh. He was calm, beloved, and obedient. Due to his quiet nature, you wouldn’t feel his presence. He joined the Police College and graduated as a second lieutenant. He worked as an officer in the Palestinian Marine Police.”

Just Engaged

Yousef’s father continued, “For about two years, my wife had been looking for a bride for Yousef. Fortunately, we found a suitable girl a week before the war, from the city of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. We reached an agreement with her family and conducted their marriage ceremony in the Sharia court.”

“We agreed with the bride’s family, the Sbahi family, to limit the public announcement to women, out of consideration for their feelings, as one of their relatives had passed away recently. We agreed to announce the engagement in the mosque for men. We completed all the necessary arrangements, and Saturday afternoon was set for the announcement. However, the war had a different plan, and it was postponed,” he added.

“After about two weeks of war, the occupation forces shelled my uncle’s house in the middle of the Nuseirat camp, Al-Jaka, lamented, saying, “Nine of my relatives and loved ones were killed in the shelling, most of them women and children. Due to the monstrous war, and the sorrow that pervades all the provinces of the Gaza Strip, I decided to cancel all engagement ceremonies out of respect for the martyrs’ blood and appreciation for their families, of which we are a part.”

“The occupation did not give Yousef the chance to get married,” cried Yousef’s father. “All eyes in our family have been focused on Yusuf during the past two months. He was the awaited groom, the one we were planning to celebrate soon. He was calm, beautiful, obedient, and beloved by everyone. We all looked at him with love, rejoiced for him, and feared that any harm might befall him during the war.”

“On the evening of Saturday, November 11, 2023, Yousef went to work. When the time passed, he had to sleep at a colleague’s home. Israeli planes bombed the house, and everyone inside was killed.”

“Communications in Gaza are very weak and extremely difficult. I didn’t know what happened, but I knew that the bombing was on a house in Nuseirat. I spent the night worried, as I had no information about Yousef. I thought he might still be at work, organizing shelter centers and ensuring the safety of the people,” Al-Jamal told us.

“Before the Asr prayer on Sunday, November 12, one of Yousef’s friends came and spoke to me. He told me that Yousef had been killed in the bombing yesterday in Nuseirat. I asked him if the news was confirmed, and he said the news was true.”

“I couldn’t find his body; it evaporated due to the bombing,” Al-Jamal ezplained. “I got on my motorcycle, but my tears hindered my movement, and I didn’t know how to ride it well. So, I headed to my sister’s house nearby, took my sister’s son with me, and he rode the bike for us. We rushed to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital, where Yousef’s colleagues met me at the hospital’s door and offered their condolences.”

“I asked them to show me Yousef’s body; I wanted to bid him farewell and hold him for the last time. However, they informed me that there was no body for Yusuf, and what was collected from the house was a small bag of charred flesh from the eight people who were in the house, mostly women and children,” Yusuf’s father added.

“I couldn’t control myself and hurried to the bombing site, but all I found were scattered stones. There was no trace of the house; it evaporated due to the force of the Israeli bombing,” he continued. “All the bodies inside vanished. There is no grave for Yousef, and I couldn’t hold and say goodbye to him. I couldn’t place my final kiss on his forehead. There is no grave for Yusuf, but everywhere in Gaza and Palestine, I find the scent of Yusuf. Wherever I turn, I find Yusuf. His embrace encompasses the entire homeland.”

“I sought the help of my older brother to inform Yousef’s mother of the tragedy,” said Al-Jamal. “I went to my elder brother, Dr. Ahmed’s house, and with tears that wouldn’t cease, I told him I didn’t know how to tell Yusuf’s mother about what had happened. There is no body; nothing remains of Yusuf. He departed without a farewell.”

“I went with my elder brother to my house, and Yousef’s mother felt that something had happened. She waited in the courtyard until my return. The news of Yusuf’s death struck her like lightning. She asked us to bid him farewell, but the news of his evaporated body had a shattering impact on her,” he continued.

“I didn’t know how to break the news to Yousef’s bride, I don’t know the words suitable for such a situation. Words barely come out of my mouth; I can barely speak. The heart is seized with pain, the soul is sad and gloomy, and the eyes await Yusuf’s return, but he won’t come back. Even if he does, it will be in my dreams, reminding me of the pain of his departure.”

(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

(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