Israeli F-16 strikes destroyed a house in the Mughraga area of Gaza overnight, killing five-months-pregnant Nour Hassan, 27, her two-year-old daughter Rahaf, and injuring her husband Yahya and their toddler son. All that remains of the house is a massive blast hole several meters deep and twenty meters wide amid scattered bits of clothing and personal belongings.
“No one called and told us to evacuate the house,” said 17-year-old Abdullah Hassan, Yahya’s cousin who was nearby when the missiles struck. “It was a cheap shot.”
As soon as the missiles struck, Abdullah Hassan and his cousin sprinted to the site. They heard crying and found the little boy dozens of meters away – he had been blown afar by the explosion. After rescuing the boy, they heard the father’s voice. The two cousins began a heroic effort to rescue Yahya Hassan who was trapped under a large piece of concrete and was impaled by a piece of rebar. The boys continued to dig through the rubble until they found the lifeless bodies of Nour and Rafah Hassan.
Situated approximately 300 meters from the Badr training site of Al-Qassam, Gaza’s largest armed resistance group, the house was shabbily built, like many of its kind.
“Such high-tech weaponry for such a simple house,” Abdullah Nasser Hassan remarked.
Early this afternoon, mourners gathered at a neighborhood mosque. The distraught and injured father sat in a wheelchair next to his dead wife and daughter, tearing up as he kissed the little girl’s lacerated, bare face and gripped her tiny hands.
Mourners carried the body of Rahaf Hassan outside, raising her body overhead, reciting verses and calling for armed resistance. Gunfire rang out as the funeral proceeded.
Family members lined the streets outside, angry and distraught after another Israeli attack on a Palestinian family.
“I hope God breaks Israel,” Ijdia Hassan, Yahya’s mother, shouted through tears as she held the surviving boy’s hand. “What is the fault of the little baby who is crying for his mother? God burn them the way they burned this child’s heart!”
“We should have a third, fourth and fifth intifada,” said 65-year-old Amna Zahar, Yahya Hassan’s cousin. “We should have a third, fourth and fifth intifada. Whatever it takes to keep fighting. They have no conscience, they have no mercy. They are dead inside!”
“All of the Gazan women are fighters! Just bring us weapons and we’ll take the fight them,” another elderly woman shouted. “If they were to meet us face to face, they’d see the kind of fight they would get.”
The bombing came hours after three rockets were launched from northern Gaza, none of which caused any damage. No group claimed responsibility for the rockets, and Al-Qassam security forces combed the streets looking for the perpetrators.
Since the ceasefire that ended Israel’s 51-day mega-assault on Gaza last year, Hamas has abided by the terms while Israel has violated the agreement on a near-daily basis. When rogue factions have launched rockets, Israel has held Hamas responsible, bombing evacuated Al-Qassam training sites.
Israeli soldiers killed eleven and injured at least 145 Palestinian youth including three children along the border over the previous days. University students called for protests at the Nahal Oz crossing.
Blowback continues in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and inside Israel as government forces continue to increase repression.