Israeli airstrike turns Gaza family’s life into torment

April 10, 2011

by Hamada Hattab, Omer Othmani

GAZA, April 9 (Xinhua) — Ibrahim Qdieh, a 52-year-old resident of southern Gaza village of Abassan, never knew that a few-minute absence from home would rescue him from a possible death but left him gulping the pain of losing wife and daughter for the rest of his life.

His wife and daughter were killed in an Israeli air raid on their home, a 90-square-meter house built on a farm in the village in the east of Khan Younis city, during the ongoing tit-for-tat violence between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the coastal enclave since June 2007.

When the air raid took place on Friday afternoon, Qdieh and some family members were praying in a mosque, while his wife stayed at home, about to wash the children’s school uniforms for the school day right after the weekend.

“I went to a nearby mosque for prayers as I usually do every week. I was shocked when a person suddenly stepped in and shouted ‘the Israelis struck the house of Ibrahim Qdieh,'” said the father, adding “I couldn’t believe what he said and I jumped and rushed to my house to see what happened.”

Qdieh began to run unconsciously towards his house, “and as soon as I reached the house, I saw the horrible and awful crime, smears of blood and remnants all over the place. I wasn’t able to believe my eyes to see my daughter Nidal, who was preparing for her wedding next week and my wife are dead.”

An Israeli reconnaissance drone fired one missile, directly hitting the house. The missile took the lives of Nidal and her mother, and injured four others in the family.

“The missile didn’t even give my wife enough time to prepare lunch for our children, and I saw all my kids were crying and screaming with fear and pain after they were all injured … I’m not telling you something that I saw on television, it was live and I saw by my eyes,” said the father.

Qdieh’s 14-year-old son Ahmed, who was with his father in the mosque, told Xinhua that “when I heard that the our house was attacked, I went out running, screaming and crying until I arrived at home, and I saw the remnants of my mother and my sister and their blood.”

“What did my mother and my sister do to cause Israel to strike our house with missiles? The Israelis made me lose the most precious persons in my life, my mother and my sister, who everyday checks out her wedding dress and was going to get married next week,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed’s 18-year-old sister Nedaa was critically wounded with the missile shrapnel hitting all her body. “My sister Nedaa is wounded, but still alive and waiting for God’s mercy,” the boy said, “She may live and she may die, while the other sister Wafa, 15, suffers wounds in her legs and abdomen.”

“We were helping my mother in drying the laundry. We didn’t do any kind of military action. There were no gunmen,” Wafa said, ” Suddenly and without any warning, the missile landed into our house. I fainted and I found myself in the hospital.”

“When I woke up, I was told that my mother and my sister Nidal died and my sister Nedaa is in critical conditions,” said Wafa.

The family called on Arab and international right groups “to come to the house and see the Israeli crimes that don’t differentiate between militants and civilians.”

They also called for an independent committee to investigate ” the Israeli crime,” saying that they had determined to sue Israel and its leaders “for the crimes they committed against innocent armless civilians while they were in their homes.”

Since Thursday afternoon, 17 Palestinians have been killed and 60 wounded during intensive Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip following the rocket attacks on towns and communities in southern Israel, for which Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility.


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