Blood, destruction, tears and children crying is what the Israeli occupation soldiers left behind after they withdrew from Abasan Al Jadeeda town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.The blood of Wafa’ Al Daghma, 37, who was killed when the army shelled her home, remains a testimony which tells a story of the atrocities of the Israeli army.

Soldiers shelled her home and killed the mother while she was among her children, and now, her 12-year old daughter Sameera, became not only the older sister but also a mother for her five younger brothers and sisters.

The misery started when the army surrounded the small home of the family, which is only 700 meters away from the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip. Soldiers then shelled the house and killed the mother in front of her children.

“We were at home, surrounded by the army after the soldiers surrounded the area around midnight”, Sameera explains, “Then we heard shooting , and felt the bullets hitting our home”.

Sameera stood there, steadfast in front of her six brothers as if she was trying to show them that she can take care of them after her mother was killed while trying to protect them.

“It was nearly 4 in the afternoon, my mother went to bring some bread from the kitchen for my brother Qosay”, she said, “Then we heard an explosion shaking the whole house, and we saw what appeared to be lightening, at that moment we all fell unconscious”.

“Shortly afterwards we regained consciousness and left the room to see dozens of soldiers filling our home and then I shouted ‘where is my mother”, the daughter added, “they refused to answer, and ordered me to sit with my brothers in the room until they left, at that moment I knew that something bad happened to my mother”.

She pointed towards the blood of her mother while shedding tears and said; “Here…here I found my mother on the ground, face down, and drowning in her blood, I could not control myself and rushed out of the house screaming and shouting until the neighbors gathered around me and carried the body of mother who did not have her head anymore, but instead the only thing which remained is a head veil which was smeared with blood”.

Soldiers left the area after killing Wafa’ and after demolishing five homes and partially destroying 20 others homes, in addition to uprooting and bulldozing more than 150 Dunams of agricultural lands planted with almonds, olives, palm, and wheat.

Yet, the family and the residents of the area have to wonder while squeezing their pain; “What did we do wrong to be killed and shelled like that, we are paying the price of being steadfast in our homes which cannot protect us anymore!”

Feature Story by the Palestinian News Agency – WAFA