Blood-stained pieces of Ma’moun’s clothes were splayed
across the olive grove (Photo: Hama Waqum)
Shreds of black and blue cloth stained in red lay scattered across an olive grove on the outskirts of Gaza City.
The remains of 13-year-old Ma’moun al-Dam’s t-shirt lay hooked into an olive bush and his sandals flung five meters away from where he was killed.
Nobody is talking about what happened at 2.30pm on Wednesday afternoon, and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), as usual, are not being questioned bout their actions.
An untouched picnic and bloodstained cushion.
(Photo: Hama Waqum)
Ma’moun was killed by a bomb dropped by the IDF while he was having a picnic with his parents in a garden in the area between Zeitoun and Tal Elhawwa neighbourhoods.
One of Ma’moun’s neighbors- a man in his 20s who didn’t want to be identified- recalled the events, “I heard a scream and came to the olive grove. I could see black smoke. I froze when I arrived- I couldn’t do anything for five minutes. I saw a young mother screaming over her son’s body.”
A pock marked fence thrown back by the force of the blast. (Photo: Hama Waqum)
The hole where the bomb fell was shallow, and Ma’moun was around a meter and a half away when it landed. His right arm was cooked to a crisp and his body riddled with small holes. His clothes were burnt and lay in shreds in the bushes, sprawled across the olive grove and into neighboring land. The force of the bomb sent the nearby metal fence flying two meters. The metal is riddled with tiny pea-sized holes. Ma’moun’s neighbors believe that the bomb held metal pellets, which exploded in a cluster, causing his torso to be dotted with waves of small wounds.
Pellet-sized holes damaged both Ma’moun’s body and
the surrounding area. (Photo: Hama Waqum)
Ma’moun’s school tests and notes were scattered around the picnic site, out of reach of the explosion, which melted the olive grove’s plastic fence. The neighbor recalled, “Ma’moun always likes to write, he brings papers with him everywhere.”
The olive grove has barely been touched in 24 hours. The family’s picnic lies untouched on a plastic table. Next to the dried pickles are a mattress and cushion- both now stained in blood as Ma’moun’s mother moved her son into the shade, laying him in front of his father, who is blind and was injured in the head during the attack. Shrapnel hangs in the bushes and Ma’moun’s phone split into three pieces, intertwined in the brambles.
The neighbor explained that Ma’moun’s mother “put his body down in front of her husband and said to her husband, who cannot see, “Say mashallah; you have a martyr for a son.”
Ma’moun’s death is one of 16 since escalations began on Monday. The 13-year-old’s death has gone largely unreported and the IDF have made no official statement on his death, except by responding to tweets asking for an explanation with a deflection. :
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 22, 2012
Neighbors have said that no missiles were launched from the area and if they had, the family would certainly have left their picnic, especially during an escalation.
No proof of a rocket launch has been offered by the IDF and nobody is asking questions about why a 13-year-old was killed.
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