Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Israeli raids before Ramadan: cycle of death

Issam Adwan | 06-05-2019


During the holy month of Ramadan, the blessings of love, peace and compassion normally prevail and Gazans prepare special dishes for their families and the needy. Instead, too many are preparing funeral ceremonies for the 27 fathers, brothers, mothers and children killed by Israeli fire the last three days.

Among the dead are a pregnant woman, two toddlers and a 12-year-old; 177 people have been injured, including 42 children. On Saturday night alone, four were killed when three residential buildings were bombed in the east of Gaza: two men, the pregnant mother, and her 14-month-old child Seba, according to the Ministry of Health. Also targeted were the headquarters of Turkey's Anadolu news agency and the Prisoners' Information Office.

This latest assault was triggered on the previous Friday, during the Great Return March protest. Israeli snipers shot and killed four Palestinians and injured 51. One of those killed was 19-year-old Raed Abu Teir, who was walking on crutches due to wounds from previous protests. A Palestinian (who has not been publicly claimed or identified) fired at the snipers in response, wounding one.

Soon after, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized airstrikes, first on government sites and peripheral property. Our equivalent of Israel’s military is the "Joint Operations Room," which includes the military wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement responded in kind with their rudimentary rockets. Israel unleashed its usual disproportionate response, shelling densely populated residential sites in the cities of the Gaza Strip—the more than 200 sites hit included seven residential buildings. One was the al-Khuzundar commercial and residential complex in Gaza City

Subhi al-Khuzundar, 27, the son of the building owner and a graduate in international law, is just beginning his married life and was putting the final touches on the couple's apartment.

"Thanks, Israel! I must clap in appreciation for turning our dreams into dust," he said, verging on hysteria. "I haven’t read the Torah, but I know it criminalizes attacks that turn innocent people’s lives into ashes."

Mohammed Abu Marasa, 27, is a hairdresser in the building’s beauty salon, his only source of income. The salon was destroyed.

"It was 9:30 in the evening when we heard the warning drone,” he recalled. “Four ladies were in the shop. We ran screaming from the building and a few seconds after, it was gone. The shop was my only source of living and now I have nothing. Was my salon in Israel’s bank of targets? I don't understand how lipsticks and contour brushes threaten their security."

Ali Abd-Aljawad

Ali Abd-Aljawad, 51, owned a teaching center for the English language in the Zoroub building in Rafah, my home city. He too was apparently a threat to Israel. He was the one who encouraged me to study for a degree in English language. He had just finished teaching a class and was drinking coffee in the center's cafe when his building was hit, killing him and two others. We used to call him “the teacher of poor” because he never hesitated to offer his services free to anyone, inspiring tens of youth with his good deeds and warm smile.

He told me seven years ago, "Isso [Issam], you have a great future ahead. I'm so sure you will be great someday. But once you are, don't forget me."

We must remember Ali Abd-Aljawad and all of the others who were killed:

1. Imad Muhammad Nasir, 22.
2. Saba Mahmoud Abu A'rar, 14 months.
3. Falestine Saleh Abu A'rar, 37.
4. Abdullah Abu A'rar, unborn.
5. Khaled Mohammed Abu Qliq, 25.
6. Mahmoud Subhi Isa, 26.
7. Fawzi Abed ElHamid Bwadi, 24.
8. Bilal Mohammed al-Banna, 29
9. Abdullah Abu al-Atta, 21
10. Hamid Ahmed Abdul-Khudri, 34.
11. Mohammed Abed ElNabi Abu Armana, 30.
12. Mahmoud Samir Abu Armana, 27.
13. Mousa Hussien Moa'amer, 24.
14. Abd al-Rahim Al-Madhoun, 22.
15. Fadi Ragheb Badran, 31.
16. Amani Al-Madhoun, 33.
17. Ayman al-Madhoun, unborn.
18. Ali' Abd al-Jawad, 51.
19. Maria Ahmed Ramadan al-Ghazali, 4 months.
20. Ahmed Ramadan Ragab al-Ghazali, 31.
21. Iman Abdullah Musa Osrof, 30.
22. Abed El-Raheem Mostafa Taha Al-Madhoun, 22.
23. Hani Hamdan Abu Sha'ar, 37.
24. Abed El-Rahman Talal Atia, 12.
25. Iyad Abdullah Al-Shariya, 34.
26.Talal Attia Mohammed Abu Aljdian, 46.
27. Raghda Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Aljidian, 40.

Posted: May 5, 2019

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