A Gaza Family Escapes One Death to Encounter Another
Date: 
October 25 2023
blog Series: 

On the morning of Oct. 16, a family’s story in Gaza came to a tragic end. At 7:43 a.m. an Israeli airstrike hit the home of the Zaqmat family in the city of Khan Younis, located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The attack claimed the lives of Syed Al-Eqad’s wife and all of his children, leaving him physically injured and emotionally devastated.

The family had fled their home in the city center just a few days prior due to heavy bombing. They sought refuge in a relative’s home, but death found them there in the form of a missile weighing over half a ton. The house was reduced to a pile of rubble in a crater three meters deep. Medical rescue crews pulled more than 15 martyrs from the site, among them were women and children including Syed's wife and children. 

The dreams and memories of a once happy family were erased. Yet, the voice of Anas, their young son with a voice like a curlew bird, still echoes faintly in the ears of relatives and friends.

Next to their mother, Randa, five children — Mohammed, Anas, Duaa, Maryam, and Noor — were laid to rest. Alaa was found hours later under the rubble, fighting for her life. 

As Alaa battled death in the intensive burn unit, her father Syed faced his own struggle with loneliness and grief. Despite an upcoming surgery for his physical injuries, he believed the deep wound in his heart may never heal. Six souls departed this world. This incident is one of many carried out by Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinian civilians. Over 350 families have been erased from the Palestinian civil registery — bloodlines wiped. As of Oct. 25, Israel killed more than 6500 Palestinians, more than 2500 were children. 

About The Author: 

Ahmad al-Batta is a journalist based in Gaza.

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