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Black Weekend, Bloody Mud, and White Sand

September 24, 2006

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Gaza strip attack,According to Israeli television, roles claim that the bombing of the members of the Palestinian resistance, Family killed in the bombing and did not fully keep them only a girl named Huda.Israel acknowledged the incident and said that they iInvestigating the incident.

Israeli gunboats bombing gaza beach killing a whole family.
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Die Tränen haben das unschuldige Gesicht von einem erstauntem Mädchen, Huda Ghalia, 12, der gestern 7 Mitglieder ihrer Familie verlor, noch nicht verlassen während sie ihr Wochenende beim Ufer in der Stadt von Beit Lahia genoss , nördlich von Gaza.

Die Ghalia-Familie ging zu einem weniger bevölkerten Gebiet beim nördlichen Teil des Strandes …

Sami Abu Salem, The Electronic Intifada, 11 June 2006

Huda Ghalia, 12, a survivor of the attack, at Kamal Udwan Hospital, north of Gaza after losing her family, (Sami Abu Salem/WAFA)

The tears have not yet left the innocent face of one astonished girl, Huda Ghalia, 12, who lost 7 members of her family yesterday, while they enjoyed their weekend at the shore in the town of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza.

Huda and her sisters and brothers were happily enjoying their first weekend together without thinking of homework, as they recently completed their school exams.

The Ghalia family went to a less populated area at the northern part of the beach, where white sand dunes and little wild plants were scattered.

They preferred to sit close to the shore, where the children were happy to play with water and the white, clean sand, and their mothers were happy to see the rare smiles on the children’s faces.

Huda’s father, Ali, 45, a farmer, cooked corn before playing cards with other family members. Hanadi, 18 months old, was laying in her cradle as her mother rocked it.

These enjoyable moments did not continue for long. Soon, the Israeli navy gunboats shot two bombs among the beachgoers.

Ali hailed a taxi and called for his family members to leave quickly, as soon as possible, and they collected their luggage, the children collected their toys, and they fled the now-dangerous beach.

Huda, who was lightly wounded in the arm, said that after her family left the scene of bombardment, they sat between sand dunes, waiting for a taxi.

„I was eating corn and my mother was breast-feeding Hanadi. Other children were playing with toys, and my sister Amani was hugging her baby, Mohammed,“ said Huda, as she cried.

„My sister Sabreen was making domes with sand and Ilham was laughing at her. Ilham was trying to pick up a piece of corn and asked me to not go far because the taxi was on its way.“

„Suddenly, a rocket hit our family. I was only several meters away. The rocket fell among my mother, father, sisters and brothers. The dust was so intense that I couldn’t see anything,“ she said, while laying on her bed at Kamal Udwan Hospital.

Seven members of the family were killed on the spot – the father Ali, 45, his son Haitham, 6 months, daughter Hanadi, 18 months, daughter Sabreen, 3, daughter Ilham, 7, daughter Alia, 25 and Ali’s second wife, Raifa, 26. Several other women and children were wounded.

„I was so scared and ran away for several meters, and then I came back. I saw my brothers and sisters bleeding. I saw a head and hands but did not realize to whom they belonged. I saw my father – he was dead, lying on the dunes.“

Eyewitness, Moneer Ghabin, said that he saw the „unbelievable and horrible“ scene at the sea soon after the bombardment.

„My friends and I had just arrived at the sea to spend the weekend. We heard a strong explosion and went to inspect what happened. It was unbelievable and horrible,“ Ghabin said.

„Huda was running between the sand dunes as if she were looking for something. She was weaving between the bodies, and the body parts, of her family. She was scared, astonished, surprised and crying,“ Ghabin said.

Ayham, 20, another of Ali’s sons, said that he was talking to his father just seconds before the attack.

„When the shell hit us, I do not know what happened. Within seconds, I realized that my family had been turned into a heap of flesh. Unconsciously, I carried someone’s hand or leg – I’m not sure whose. I did not know what to do, and do not know why it happened,“ Ayham said.

The toys and the shoes of children in the bloody sand at Beit Lahia beach, after the Israeli attack. (Sami Abu Salem/WAFA)

At the scene, yellow corn was covered with red mud. Pink and orange children’s shoes lay among different toys, scattered near a mattress saturated with blood.

The white sand was turned into red mud where a tuft of little girl’s hair and pieces of flesh were covered with a kite.

Tens of people gathered at the scene gazing at the shoes and children’s toys. They wers shocked and appalled by what had happened.

Samir Kullab, 33, was carrying his bag leaving the shore. As his children followed, he said that the Israelis committed this crime because „they feel angry to see Palestinians enjoying their lives.“

Kullab said that he could not understand why it happened and promised that he will never come, or allow his children to come, to see the sea again.

Sami Abu Salem lives in Jabalia Refugee Camp and works as an English news and features writer at the Palestine News Agency (WAFA). This article is reprinted by permission from WAFA. He has also worked at the International Press Center of the Palestinian Authority State Information Service, and works as a freelance writer for local newspapers, focusing on literature and arts.

Related Links

  • Serious Escalation in Israeli Attacks: 14 Palestinians killed in past 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, including 2 parents, 5 of their children and 2 brothers; 36 injured, Field Report, PCHR (11 June 2006)
  • Gaza: On the Beach, Mona Elfarra (11 June 2006)Latest articles on EI:
    Human Rights: U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem expresses concern about Israeli refusals to issue visas ( 1 October 2006)
    Human Rights: Israeli forces kill four, including two boys riding bicycles, in Gaza ( 1 October 2006)
    Diaries: Live from Palestine: Waiting to return to where „the air is different“ (30 September 2006)
    Art, Music & Culture: Echoes of Ireland in Palestine: a review of Ken Loach’s new film (29 September 2006)
    Opinion/Editorial: Bad faith and the destruction of Palestine (29 September 2006)
    Human Rights: Intervention to Member States of the United Nations on the Sixth Anniversary of the Second Intifada (29 September 2006)
    Business & Economy: Dutch company involved in construction of the Wall (28 September 2006)
    Human Rights: Six years of Israeli aggression and war crimes in the OPT (28 September 2006)
    Human Rights: UN human rights chief to visit Occupied Palestinian territories, Israel (28 September 2006)
    Development: Depression increasing due to conflict and poverty (28 September 2006)


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