Video: A beautiful brother went looking for his family in the death zone (Updated)

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Rina Andolini, an international living in Gaza, shared this journal entry on Facebook. Photos are from Joe Catron’s Flickr page. This post has been updated with the video above. 

Shajiya – There was a ceasefire today for 3 hours – so some of us internationals went to the area which I refer to as the ‘Death Zone’ – Shajiya, we went to see if we could help with the masses of injured amongst the rubble.

The Death Zone is unlike any destruction I have seen in my life – there is no place left without bombing, shelling or sniper shots. Total devastation.

We reached and there was a beautiful brother who was looking for his family. Doing our job, we made the decision collectively to help find the brother’s family amongst the annihilation.

International volunteers following Palestinian youth into Sha seconds before his killing, photo by Joe Catron
International volunteers following Palestinian youth into Shuja’iyeh, photo by Joe Catron

Unfortunately, the danger starts, there is constant bombing very very very close by, drones literally above our heads and sniper shooting. We are ducking and diving, and weaving in and out of the rubble and destruction.

We have so much to worry about – 1- to find this brother’s family, 2- to not get struck on the head by falling debris from the tops of buildings/houses, 3 – to ensure our safety from the Israeli Occupational Forces.

Internationals follow a Palestinian youth who is seeking his family in Shuja'iyeh, photo by Joe Catron
Internationals follow a Palestinian youth who is seeking his family in Shuja’iyeh, photo by Joe Catron

This is not a joke, this is what happened. I was there and I was in the middle of it along with the five other members including the brother who lost his family.

We were pretty much in the line of fire. However, this was not expected as we were under the impression that we had a ceasefire window to go and do our work and come back safely.

There was cover as we were walking but then, there was a clear opening….and we heard the first shot towards us. It missed us, but it split the group.

I was on the far side with Mohammed and the brother. And on the opposite side, there was Joe, Charlie and Fred. The brother was slightly near the opening and there was a second shot @ 15.27 and he fell to the ground.

Nobody could help him, he was in two arms’ reach, and we could not go to him as the Israelis were shooting and there is no doubt in my mind that the rest of us would have died if we did try to go to him.

We could not even give him something to hold on to, we were just surrounded by rubble and cables that possibly were live. The mind was not at its most clearest of points right then.

Then there was a third shot at him, and a fourth that missed him. The second shot to the brother was what killed him. Yet, they shot him again. Four shots in total.

Our dear brother – dead, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. The ‪#‎Israeli‬Occupational Forces murdered him. And what for?

Why, during a ceasefire were attacks being carried out against the Palestinian people?

I hear Charlie say ” find something anything…” and Mohammed and I shouted ‘he is already dead”.

There were four shots in total, miss, hit, hit, miss. Shrapnel flying everywhere.


We are all witnesses to this murder of an ordinary human being, a beautiful brother, who was merely looking for his family. He must have been about 20 years old, with piercing light eyes. We still do not know his name but we are trying our best to find out.

My last words to him were “slow down brother slow down” – but he wanted his family. He wanted his lost family, and the Israelis killed him for that.

Who are the murderers here?

We are blessed that we made it out of the Death Zone alive. The brother will be a shaheed and he died in the last 10 days of ‪#‎Ramadhan‬. May Allah grant him the highest ranks of jannah. Ameen.

Joe Catron offers this account to accompany his photos:

International and Palestinian volunteers accompanied Civil Defense and other rescue crews, as well as family members, into Shujaya, a neighborhood by the separation barrier in the east of Gaza City, in an attempt to locate survivors of overnight and ongoing shelling by the Israeli army. A young Palestinian man, who hoped to reach his family’s home, was shot by an Israeli soldier while crossing an alley between buildings. Two additional rounds struck him as he lay prone on the ground. Unable to reach him through the ongoing gunfire, and with Israeli artillery beginning to target buildings in the area, the volunteers were forced to retreat. 

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And where is the ridiculous Mr Goldstone today? Will he do another report saying israel is just defending itself?

Where is Goldstone now? What a total coward he is.

Caved in, because he realized people who were not aware of this conflict began to take notice.

Israel using flechette shells in Gaza

These are precision guided weapons ?These dont differentiate between armed people and civilians and are being used in densely populated area .

Israel does not target civilians?

Netunyahoo is taking advantage of two things…

The west support and support from Arab League “israel has right to defend itself after the hamas rejecting cease-fire”

The world is more focused on MH17 Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine .

. this isn’t a war this is a demented demolition crew clearing the land of all obstructions Gaza is becoming a graveyard paid for by our governments paid for by us . please where is the list; of phone numbers e-mail addresses twitter addresses sign up lists of protest/boycott funding… Read more »