20th July 2014 | Rina Andolini | Gaza, Occupied Palestine
There was a ceasefire today for 3 hours – so some of us internationals went to the area which I refer to as the ‘Death Zone’ – Shajiya, we went to see if we could help with the masses of injured amongst the rubble.
The Death Zone is unlike any destruction I have seen in my life – there is no place left without bombing, shelling or sniper shots. Total devastation.
We reached and there was a beautiful brother who was looking for his family. Doing our job, we made the decision collectively to help find the brothers family amongst the annihilation.
Unfortunately, the danger starts, there is constant bombing very very very close by, drones literally above our heads and sniper shooting. We are ducking and diving, and weaving in and out of the rubble and destruction.
We have so much to worry about – 1- to find this brothers family, 2- to not get struck on the head by falling debris from the tops of buildings/houses, 3 – to ensure our safety from the Israeli Occupational Forces.
This is not a joke, this is what happened. I was there and I was in the middle of it along with the five other members including the brother who lost his family.
We were pretty much in the line of fire. However, this was not expected as we were under the impression that we had a ceasefire window to go and do our work and come back safely.
There was cover as we were walking but then, there was a clear opening….and we heard the first shot towards us. It missed us, but it split the group.
I was on the far side with Mohammed and the brother. And on the opposite side, there was Joe, Charlie and Fred. The brother was slightly near the opening and there was a second shot at 15.27 and he fell to the ground.
Nobody could help him, he was in two arms reach, and we could not go to him as the Israelis were shooting and there is no doubt in my mind that the rest of us would have died if we did try to go to him.
We could not even give him something to hold on to, we were just surrounded by rubble and cables that possibly were live. The mind was not at its most clearest of points right then.
Then there was a third shot at him, and a fourth that missed him. The second shot to the brother was what killed him. Yet, they shot him again. Four shots in total.
Our dear brother – dead, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon [may he rest in peace]. The Israeli Occupational Forces murdered him. And what for?
Why, during a ceasefire were attacks being carried out against the Palestinian people?
I hear Charlie say, ‘ find something anything…” and Mohammed and I shouted, “he is already dead”.
There were four shots in total, miss, hit, hit, miss. Shrapnel flying everywhere.
THEY MURDERED OUR BROTHER.
We are all witnesses to this murder of an ordinary human being, a beautiful brother, who was merely looking for his family. He must have been about 20 years old., with piercing light eyes.
We still do not know his name but we are trying our best to find out.
My last words to him were “slow down, brother, slow down” – but he wanted his family. He wanted his lost family, and the Israelis killed him for that.
Who are the murderers here?
We are blessed that we made it out of the Death Zone alive. The brother will be a shaheed [martyr] and he died in the last 10 days of Ramadhan. May Allah grant him the highest ranks of jannah [heaven]. Ameen.
Image shows our brother, from the back, in Shajiya, in the green t shirt – a short while before his murder.