Skip to main content

Survivors describe 'massacre' after Israel's airstrikes

Eyewitnesses describe 'massacre' after Israel's airstrikes in Gaza
4 min read
09 May, 2023
"Because of the Israeli crimes, it seems that we will never live in security. Today, Miral lost her family and tomorrow, my kids may lose me or even their father," Shireen Shahin, a mother in Gaza, remarked to The New Arab.

A Palestinian woman mourns relatives killed in an early morning Israeli air strike on Gaza, during a funeral procession in Gaza City on 9 May 2023. [Getty]

The Israeli army committed a new "massacre" against several children and women under the pretext of assassinating major Palestinian resistance leaders, who according to Israeli claims have threatened the security of Israeli cities neighbouring the besieged coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip. 

During the early hours of Tuesday, the Israeli army launched a series of airstrikes against residential home housing three commanders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, killing at least 13 Palestinians and wounding about 20 more. 

The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry said in a press statement that "three children and seven women were among the victims, as their bodies were transferred to the local hospitals in the strip." 

Local eyewitnesses told The New Arab that they heard heavy explosions resulting from the airstrikes, which severely damaged neighbouring houses as well. 

Residents in the strip widely shared dozens of pictures and videos of the children and their mothers who were killed and wounded last night, mourning them and condemning what they called a "new Israeli massacre". 

Miral Abu Khsiwan, a Gaza-based girl did not imagine, even in her nightmares, that she will become popular someday as she searched for her parents. 

The 10-year-old grief girl was shown crying and looking at her father, who already was killed, with her mother and her brother, during the Israeli strike that attacked the residential building in Gaza that targetted Tarek Ezz al-Dein, one of the Islamic Jihad commanders, who was assassinated earlier.

"I want my father. I want my father," the girl cried out to the strangers surrounding her. 

"I was sleeping when I heard heavy explosions around me. I did not realize what happened, but I saw some stranger men took me out and put me inside the ambulance with my father," Miral recalled to TNA

Shireen Shahin, a Gaza-based resident, expressed sadness over the children and women who were killed, accusing Israel of persisting in its "massacres against the poor people in Gaza." 

"Because of the Israeli crimes, it seems that we will never live in security. Today, Miral lost her family and tomorrow, my kids may lose me or even their father," she remarked to TNA.

"Without any prior notice, I heard heavy explosions shaking my house, and before I could comprehend what was going on around me, all the windows and walls were shattered on the ground, while black clouds covered the place preventing me from doing anything," Islam Afifi, a Gaza-based mother of four neighbouring Miral, said to TNA

"For a moment, I thought that the warplanes targeted my house directly. So, I rushed to evacuate my children from the house, but because of the intensity of the bombing, the outer door was closed tightly," she said. 

A few minutes later, her neighbours helped her to escape from "death", Afifi further said. "But, I still cannot believe what happened. We were sleeping and we have never imagined witnessing such freaky and terrifying Israeli crime." 

Live Story

Armed Palestinian factions have yet to respond to the latest assassination by Israel, nevertheless, Palestinians in Gaza are anxious and concerned about the future. 

Hanan al-Rouby, another Gaza-based woman, told TNA that neither she nor her four kids slept over the whole last night due to fears of a major military confrontation in Gaza. 

"Once we heard the explosions, my kids screamed and I barely could calm them down," the 34-year-old young mother said. "I still doubt that we will restore the quiet soon as the military Israeli reconnaissance planes are still flying in the sky all the time."

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza condemned the Israeli "crime", considering their clear violations of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention, which stipulates the protection of health institutions and neutralizes them from military targeting.

The Israeli army claimed it had targeted three leaders of Islamic Jihad, which it considers a "terrorist organisation", and had hit "weapon manufacturing sites" belonging to the group.

Army spokesman Richard Hecht claimed to journalists the force "achieved what we wanted to achieve" in the overnight strikes, which he said involved 40 aircraft.

Live Story

An official source close to Hamas, who preferred to not mention their names, said to TNA that the Egyptian mediators were angry with the Israeli government and they may suspend their efforts to avoid new military tension between Israel and the armed Palestinian factions. 

"Israel has informed the Egyptian mediators that the military tension depends on the response of the factions and the firing of rockets," the sources said. 

Earlier this month, militants in Gaza fired about 102 rockets at southern Israel in response to Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Nevertheless, the ministry warned of involvement in new military tensions as its staff already have been suffering from the lack of medical supplies and equipment, which means that if the Israeli occupation continues its aggression, the territory will witness more victims who will not be survived their severe wounds.