Voices from the Occupation: Dalou family - Fatalities

Posted on: 24 Dec 2012 | Filed under:

Names: Ibrahim, Yousef, Jamal, Sara, and Yara ad-Dalou
Date of incident:
18 November 2012
1, 3, 5, 7 and 14
Nature of incident:

On 18 November 2012, 10 members of the same family, including five children, are killed when their house is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.

Ibrahim, Yousef, Jamal and Sara lived with their parents in Gaza City. Their aunt, 14-year-old Yara, lived in the apartment downstairs with her family. “Since the Israeli offensive started on 14 November 2012, we all stayed inside the house and I did not go to my grocery store to work,” says Yara’s father and the children’s grandfather.  “However, on 18 November, at around 11:00 a.m., my wife asked me to buy some food and other things as we were running out of supplies. The whole family was on the first floor, as usual, having breakfast together, except for my son Mohammad, who was at work.”

After shopping, Yara’s father went to the mosque to pray. When he returned to his shop to get the groceries and head back home, he found his son Abdullah crying and a lot of people gathered outside the store. “I asked Abdullah what had happened, and he said that our house had been bombed with everyone inside. I could not believe it. I got into my car and rushed to the house. Abdullah followed me. When I arrived, I saw many people in the street, and rubble and stones everywhere. I got out of the car and saw the house destroyed. Everything was destroyed. It was a pile of rubble. I could not believe it. I started screaming and crying,” recalls Yara’s father.

“It was chaos. Everyone started removing rubble and ambulances and fire fighters arrived at the scene. The neighbours took me inside their house. I asked them about my family and they said they had been injured and had been taken to the hospital. I asked them to take me to the hospital, but they said the hospital was too full because of the amount of people injured and we wouldn’t be allowed in. I remained quiet. I could not stand on my feet. About an hour later, they told me that my sister had died. I started crying, without knowing that they all were dead.”

Yara’s father went to the hospital the following day. There, “I found out that all my family had been killed instantly in the attack. The bodies of my wife, one of my daughters, my four grandchildren, their mother, and my sister were all in the morgue. I asked about my son Mohammad and my other daughter, Yara, and I was told they were still looking for them under the rubble. I really cannot say what I felt that day. After three days of searching, we found parts of Yara under the rubble. We also found Mohammad's body. That means everyone was killed, except for Abdullah who was not in the house when it was bombed.”

Yara’s father adds: “I do not know why this happened. Our neighbourhood is a residential area and all my family members were civilians. I do not know why they blew up my house with everyone inside. Now I live alone with Abdullah, with no children, with no grandchildren and no family.”          

9 December 2012