‘Only my 5-month-old infant still alive,’ father from Gaza says

Two entire families perished in the same Israeli airstrike in Al Shatei Refugee Camp, west of Gaza City

By Motasem A Dalloul

It was midnight when Mohammad al Hadidi heard the sound of a huge explosion near to his house. He immediately opened the window of his bedroom to know what happened before he was shocked to see a massive cloud of smoke covering the whole neighbourhood.

“Only one minute, I went downstairs and heard people screaming from everywhere,” he told Palestine Post 24. “I could identify the direction of the screams and directly ran towards it amidst heavy think smoke and darkness. I was shocked to reach the house of my brother-in-law.”

Maha, Mohamad’s wife, went to visit her brother family who lives in the same neighbourhood. While sitting with him along with her five children, an Israeli airstrike hit the three-story house turning it into rubble and tearing the bodies of the two families into pieces.

“I recognised that all of my family members would have died in the attack because I know they were there,” Mohammad said. “I started to scream while people, who immediately gathered, started to look for survivors.”

As he was weeping, he said: “After a while, rescue teams arrived and about 10 minutes later they pulled out the first body. It was one of my brother-in-law’s siblings. Then, the signs of the catastrophe started to appear clearly.”

In this strike, Maha al Hadidi, 36, her son Sohaib, 14, Abdul-Rahman, 8, Usama, 6, and Yahya, 11, were killed, while the only five-month-old infant Omar was rescued alive. These are the members of Mahmoud’s family.

“Thanks to Allah, who kept one of my sons alive,” he said. “I was not left alone and he is not alone with me. He is my hope.”

Mohamad’s brother-in-law Alaa abu-Hatab, his wife Yasmin, 37, Mariam, 15, Yamin, 5, Bilal, 10, Yousef, 11, were killed in the attack. Two children are still alive, including one in critical condition.

(Source / 16.05.2021)

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