Huda's nephew
Huda's nephew showing Your Middle East the place where the children had been sleeping just minutes before their deaths. © Rana E. Manna
Huda's nephew
Huda's sister
Huda's sister showing Your Middle East the place where the children had been sleeping just minutes before their deaths © Rana E. Manna
Huda's sister
Huda's sister
Huda's sister showing Your Middle East the destruction. © Rana E. Manna
Huda's sister
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Rana E. Manna
Last updated: April 29, 2013

Meeting with the Abu Sefan family in Gaza

Destruction continued on the fifth day of Israel’s "Operation Pillar of Defense”. The besieged Gaza Strip has now witnessed a progression of around 1,000 struck targets, causing the death of more than 80 civilians and over 700 injured.

Among the escalating number of deaths, Jumana Abu Sefan, 18 months old, and her older brother Tamer, 3 and a half years old, were killed in an Israeli air strike early Sunday morning in northern Gaza Strip. The conflict has already resulted in more than ten dead Palestinian infants.

Their father breaks into tears next to the two dead bodies of his children during their funeral at a mosque in the village of Beit Lahia, after which they were being buried at a nearby cemetery.

Back home, 23-year-old Huda Abu Sefan, the mother of the two dead children is surrounded by women dressed in black, mourning over the loss of her children.

"They were the only children I had been blessed with. They were the only reason I would wake up in the mornings; the rest of my life will now be surrounded by nothing but sheer darkness. May every Israeli mother feel the pain I have been cursed with," she told Your Middle East.

The children had apparently been sleeping soundly in their bedroom when the entire house plunged on top of them bringing their lives to an end. This is not the first Israeli attack on civilian houses within the Gaza Strip; apartments, institutes, agencies and factories have been targeted as well.

"We had taken my baby Jumana to the Shifa hospital, waiting till dawn in hope of hearing news that she'd make it; she didn't. We received news of her death just minutes past sunrise," Huda added.

The Abu Sefan family has always had a poor and rather critical economical situation. Living near the buffer zone, their house is no more than 70 square meters.

"To me, and many other's who have lost their loved ones in this catastrophe this week, this is even worse than the offensive that occurred on Gaza Strip in the winter of 2009," cried Huda.

During the offensive in the year 2009, the people of the besieged Strip witnessed the death of nearly 1,300 people and 25,000 injuries.

"May God have mercy on us this time," she concluded.

Rana E. Manna
Rana is a freelance journalist based in Gaza. She covered the Gaza War in November 2012 for Your Middle East exclusively.
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