The room in Migdad Elzalaan’s home where his uncle was killed. (All Photos: Ruqaya Izzidien)
At 2am on Thursday 9 December the first of three Israeli airstrikes hit meters away from the home of Migdad Elzalaan in northern Gaza City. The attack killed Elzalaan’s uncle and injured 13 of his family members. Israeli authorities claim to have targeted a nearby military base, but the only reported casualties were civilian.
Elzalaan’s younger sister’s bed covered in rubble.
Elzalaan’s home- which the United Nations repaired after a nearby airstrike in the 2008-2009 war- was severely damaged and his uncle’s house was completely destroyed.
Shattered plates and glasses in a destroyed kitchen.
During the airstrikes, the 20-year-old went to his uncle’s home next door where he rescued his 6-month-old cousin from the rubble. After the final bomb, he unearthed his uncle from the rubble. Migdad explained, “[My uncle] told me, ‘Look after our family, look after the children. Look after them,’ and then he died, right in my arms.”
The possessions and toys of the family lay sprawled across the house, dishes from the last meal are still left in the sink and large cement bricks remain where they landed in the children’s beds.