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A wedding turns into a funeral after Israel's Gaza strikes

A wedding turns into a funeral after Israel's strikes on Gaza kill bride-to-be
3 min read
12 May, 2023
Dania Adas, a young Gaza woman, was getting ready to be married in July but her life was tragically cut short by an Israeli airstrike.
At least 31 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed since Israel's bombardment of Gaza began on Tuesday [Getty]

At 1:45 pm local time on Tuesday, Mohammed Saad, 22, left the house of his fiancée, Dania Adas, 19, in the Shuja'iya neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City, heading towards his house. Little did he know that those were the last moments he would spend with her.

Diana was killed 15 minutes later after an Israeli airstrike struck a nearby target, opposite her house.

The strike was the first of many that unexpectedly hit the Shuja'iya area where, like in other parts of the besieged densely populated Gaza Strip, houses are closely packed together.

Alaa Ata Adas, 52, woke up in a panic as the intensity of the bombing forced the door of his room open. He called out for his children, but none answered.

Today, Alaa sits with Mohammed on the rubble of his house. He points towards where his daughter's room once stood and cries at the sight of stains of his daughter's blood on the rubble.

"The room was filled with dust and smoke. I knew that my daughters' bedroom was directly hit by the bombing," Alaa told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"When I called their names, I thought my daughters were asleep. Through the dim light, the room appeared completely destroyed. I started searching for them and all I saw was their hair. The neighbours came and helped me get them out," Alaa said.

"Dania lost her life after arriving at the hospital, while Iman was critically injured. Shortly after, we were informed that she died as well," he said, speaking about both his daughters.

"Dania's blood still stains the wall, and I realised that she collided with it before falling to the ground," he said.

"Two days ago, Iman told me about a dream she had, where she was dressed in white. I told her it was probably related to her sister's wedding," he said. "Now they are both covered in a white shroud."

Dania was studying accounting at the College of Applied Sciences in Gaza, while her sister is still in the second year of high school.

Mohammed used to come over in the evenings to help his fiancée prepare for her exams. They had agreed to have the wedding on 21 July - after she finished her university exams.

Dania and Iman shared the same bedroom and were very close. Alaa told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that he had concerns about Imen coping with her sister's absence after Diana gets married. Instead, now the sisters are buried together.

Mohammed and Dania were engaged two months ago and had been preparing for their wedding ceremony. Now, the young man is preparing to bury his fiancee.

"I can't believe she's gone," Mohammed told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, weeping inconsolably as he flipped through photos of happier times on his phone.

At least 31 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed since Israel's bombardment of Gaza began on Tuesday.