'My 84-year-old Mother Was Killed in Shelling by an Israeli Tank'
November 17 2023
blog Series: 

My mother, Feryal Ezzeldine Aldajani-Khayal, was born in 1939. On Nov. 10, 2023, she was killed by Israeli shelling in Gaza. She was with her daughter (my sister) Soha and grandkids and great-grandkids sheltering in a family house. The house was bombed at night and became uninhabitable. They waited for the morning to move to another house, but an Israeli tank shelled them while walking and killed my 84-year-old, my 31-year-old niece, and my sister’s daughter-in-law, who was 28 years old, a mother of two babies. My mother was very loving, compassionate, endearing, kind and protective. She was strong, extraordinary, supportive, intuitive, caring, and mindful. I have received a lot of words of support, sympathy, and condolences from many family members, friends, neighbors, and people who worked with her in the past. They shared memories of her. 

Feryal (right) and her sister Lamiya in the United States. Lamiya passed away in March 2023.

My sister, Soha, tried to save my mother, but an Israeli sniper targeted her and shot her three times in the leg. Soha’s daughter, my niece, had a disability. She was also targeted by the sniper. She was shot and bled to death for seven hours. My injured sister and her family have been seeking shelter in a building and have been unable to go to the hospital since Nov. 10, 2023. No one has been able to send help for almost a week now. They are slowly running out of resources, including food, milk, and medicine. 

Feryal pictured in a garden in Gaza in October 2022. 

My sister Soha is kind, strong, loyal, determined, and dedicated. She has always taken care of her family; her husband, daughter, and two married sons with their families. Tarek, Soha’s oldest son, lost his wife to Israeli shelling during this war. He has two kids. 

Twelve years ago, her husband suffered a disabling stroke that left him completely dependent on her for all his daily functions. She feeds him and takes care of his personal hygiene and other needs. Despite all the hardship she has suffered, she still has a great sense of humor.

My hope now is for the suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza to end, for the genocide to end, for the ethnic cleansing to end, for an immediate ceasefire, for humanitarian aid to enter, and for the criminals to be punished for what they have done to us.

Soha (far right) and Feryal (sitting) with family in Gaza in October 2022.
About The Author: 

H.K.* is a Palestinian from Gaza based in Chicago.

* The writer’s initials are used at his request to protect his privacy.

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