Gaza – Only two hours separated the killing of Hamed Najim, 17, and three of his cousins on the Jabalia refugee camp within the northern Gaza Strip, and the announcement of a ceasefire with Israel.
Israel and the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad declared a truce late on Sunday after three days of heavy Israeli bombardment on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Despite a flurry of Israeli air raids and Palestinian rocket launches till the final minute, the truce started at 11:30pm native time on Sunday (20:30 GMT) and has thus far held.
According to the Palestinian well being ministry, 44 Palestinians, together with 15 youngsters, have been killed and not less than 350 civilians wounded throughout Israel’s three-day “pre-emptive strike”.
Hamed and his cousins - Jamil Najm al-Deen Naijm, 4, Jamil Ihab Najim, 13, and Mohammad, 17 – have been killed by a missile that hit them whereas they have been within the Falluja cemetery throughout the road from their home.
Hamed’s mom, Diana, was visibly shaken. She advised Al Jazeera her son was very cautious to not go away the home, fearing Israeli assaults.
“Just two hours before the truce was announced, he told me he would go out for five minutes with his cousins,” she mentioned. “Moments went by and then we heard a bombing. We ran out to find my son and his three cousins. They were all cut up into pieces.”
‘Our lives are worthless’
Diana’s story is much like many others within the besieged Gaza Strip, after Israel launched repeated air assaults in a three-day operation involving “surgical strikes” towards the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, in accordance to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
“I was a mother of four children. Today my children have become three in the blink of an eye. My son was very obedient, kind-hearted and excelled in his studies despite our difficult circumstances,” she mentioned.
“Why are we in Gaza exposed to all this? We can lose our children at any moment and at any minute as if our lives are worthless.”
Despite shedding her son, Diana expressed her satisfaction with the ceasefire. “Enough is enough. We can’t take it anymore and I don’t want other mothers in Gaza to see the bitterness of what I’m going through now,” she mentioned, tears rolling down her cheeks.
‘Bombing until last moment’
On Monday, on the Bureij refugee camp within the central Gaza Strip, giant crowds gathered to mourn Yasser al-Nabaheen, 40, and his three youngsters, who have been killed the night prior in an Israeli bombing of their household home.
The assault resulted within the dying of the daddy and his two sons, Ahmed, 13, Mohamed, 9, and his daughter Dalia, 13. His oldest son was wounded and is recovering in hospital.
“I was sitting with my Uncle Yasser in the small plot of land across our house,” Ahmad, a member of the family, advised Al Jazeera. “He moved a little forward when a missile fell in the space between us and directly above him and his children. They all turned to pieces in a moment.”
Ahmad mentioned he couldn’t consider what occurred proper earlier than his eyes.
“I was screaming and calling for help and calling an ambulance. My uncle was a good person and loved by everyone. He had no political affiliations. We were sitting and his children were playing in front of him. Within minutes a massacre happened,” he mentioned.
The father and his youngsters died half an hour earlier than the truce was agreed upon.
“It is overwhelming and very difficult to comprehend. Israel kept bombing and killing people and civilians until the last moment,” mentioned Ahmad.