children under fireAccording to news reports, over 665 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed,and more than 2950 injured. Of those, more than 214 children and more than88 women were killed. This is the story of two of those children.
January 2, 2008Al Qarara, Khan Yunis - According to Mahmud Mosa Alstal, 27 years old, thechildren`s uncle, "I was sitting down in the building. The children wereplaying 40 metersaway from me, and they were 500 metersaway from theirhouse. I could hear the drone (Israeli unmanned drone). I thought it wouldattack one of the police stations or one of the government sites. I lookedat it. Suddenly the drone fired a rocket. I told myself it was close. Itcould be targeting a car nearby. But when I ran there to investigate, Iran first to the place where the children were playing. I was shocked whenI saw the three children on the ground. The head of Abed Alsatar, who wasnine years-old, flew far away from the place, and also Abed Rabo nineyears-old and his brother Mohammed 12 years-old were hit. I called otherpeople to come and help me to take them to the hospital. When they saw thescene, they also were shocked and they left. I stopped a car passing by andI took them to the hospital, it was difficult for the ambulance to getthere because the attack just happened and the area was hard to reach. Youknow that four of the children's uncles were killed, not during thisattack, but in the last few years, also by the Israeli army. What can Isay. They went to see their uncles in heaven. They are together now."
30 year-old Um Mohammed, the mother of Abed Rabo and Mohammed told us,"They were playing. They didn’t do any thing wrong. Mohammed was in fifthgrade. The first exam started Saturday, when the first and biggest attackhappened throughout the Gaza Strip. The didn’t even take the exam. Todaythey took their lunch and went to the mosque to pray and then to play. Theywent to play in an empty piece of land nearby. Suddenly a drone missile hitthem."
"Mohammed was helpful. He helped me a lot. He was the oldest of my sons.Yesterday, I was telling them the story of our prophet Ibrahim, who Godasked to sacrifice his son Ishmael. I found them telling me the next partof the story and telling me the end. They knew it."
"They loved playing football. They played together most of the time in theplayground when they were playing football."
"I used to call Abed Rabo, Abood. But Mohammed, we called him Mohammed.They just had their lunch. Mohammed asked if he could do anything for me before he went out. Iasked him to put the teapot on the fire before he left because we have nogas. He put it on the fire and put in the tea and the sugar. The tea evendidn’t boil before I got the news that Mohammed was killed, and he is amartyr now."
"The last joke that Mohammed told before he was killed, he told me and hisdad about one of our neighbors. He's a short man. He made a tent, shortlike him. He just made it for himself and not for other people. If a tallperson wanted to visit, he would have to stoop. But they are children andshort still. They can get inside."
"God's mercy be upon you Mohammed. I will miss you a lot. Abed too used tohelp me a lot. He used to help me when I was cooking, starting the firewith me. Today he woke up this morning, and he told me that breakfast wasready. And I found he made the tea too. He used to wake up early, everyday, starting the fire to make breakfast."
"We want the other nations to stand side by side with us. They can't stopthe Israelis? They can stop them, but they don’t because its not their sake to stop them."
We just look for Allah and wait for Allah to help us. Let them take theirtime and watch us and to see the children's blood. I lost two of mychildren, but 11 children and their parents were killed from Alrayan familyyesterday. I'm not better than them. I just lost two children."
"My children were upset and felt pain when they saw what happened to theother children during the Israeli attack on Saturday. I used to change thechannel and wouldn’t let them see the other children's dead bodies so as tonot scare them. I didn’t like them to see these scenes because it willeffect them, Mohammed didn’t sleep all night. When they had exams, theywouldn’t try to wake me up in the morning. They would get dressed and go toschool early, because they were thinking that if they went early they wouldcome back early to play."
"This morning I told my little daughter to wash her face. She said to me,did I sleep enough to need to wash my face? All night they don’t sleepbecause of the bombing and the airstrikes. What have we done for theIsraelis to attack us like that! Tell me what we have done?"
"We are nine in the family, I have five daughters and three sons, I losttwo and now we are seven including me and their Dad."
"It's true that I lost two of my sons but when I see other people's miseryI feel that my misery is small."
"I'm like any person living here. I could die any night, killed by anIsraeli attack. They just attack the area. I could be killed, who knows. Iwill die today or tomorrow or now. All the Palestinians here arethreatened. I say every day, tomorrow I could die."
"They want us to leave our homes, but it is in their dreams. They arewrong. We will not leave our homes. We will always stay here. It will notbe like the 1948 war. We will stay in our homes, and we prefer to die inour homes. It's an honor to die in our country rather than to escape. Theywill not evacuate our land and take it. They occupied our land and theycame to us. Why did they come to us? We didn’t go to their homes but theycame to ours. I don’t know what they want from the Palestinian people, orwhy they occupied us? We are strong in our faith, and God will always helpus."