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‘Israeli bombs massacred 11 of my family in Gaza’

Sheffield-based Palestinian activist Musheir El-Farra told Socialist Worker how his sleeping relatives became an example of Israel’s ‘collective punishment’

Issue No. 2415

Musheir El-Farra

Musheir El-Farra (Pic: Flickr/FreeGaza)


In the early hours of Friday of last week an Israeli airstrike hit the city of Khan Younis, southern Gaza, massacring 11 members of one family.

Among them were five children— Nadine aged 15, Mohammed aged 11, Yara and Abdulrahman both aged eight, and Lujaine aged four. 

All of the dead were relatives of Musheir El-Farra, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Sheffield.

He told Socialist Worker, “These were children sleeping with their families.

“It is a lie when Israelis claim that children are being used as human shields.”

When the El-Farra house was hit by a drone attack, the whole neighbourhood started to run. 

They knew that a drone strike is a guide for a lethal missile from an F-16 jet to follow. Within minutes it had hit, killing instantly. 

People came to help the injured and the dead, but a third attack struck the neighbourhood, killing even more. 

Nine of the El-Farra family were killed immediately, and five were taken into intensive care at nearby Nasser hospital. 

Medics

Despite the efforts of medics, who are under immense strain, another two members of the family died within two hours.

Musheir said, “This was just one example of over 60 families who have been wiped out either fleeing or as they sleep.

“It is a miracle that the hospitals are still functioning. Three of them have been bombed, including the al Wafa rehabilitation centre for the disabled in Gaza City.

“At Deir Albellah hospital four patients, including two in intensive care, were killed.”

“There are no shelters,” he said. “Some have sheltered in schools, but most people have moved in with other families.

“My friend Ahid has 87 people living in his family’s apartments. This includes four families from Shujai’iya, who they housed following the massacre there last month.”

Musheir is angered by Israel’s claim that Palestinian rockets start the attacks.  

“This is just collective punishment for the whole of the Palestinian people,” said Musheir.

He also stressed the importance of the massive show of international solidarity for the people of Palestine.

“It shows them that they have not been abandoned.”


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Tue 5 Aug 2014, 19:21 BST
Issue No. 2415
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