The nightmares Palestinian children live

Wednesday 5 January 2022 by Rania

Below are the heart breaking live testimonies by children and their mothers reflecting the long hours of horror they endured facing imminent death during the 2021 aggression Gaza.

In our libraries in Gaza we encourage children to write about the daily lives about their experiences, and their sufferings. Here are some selections of their testimonies and of two mothers.

Palestinian Children Night Mares!
Testimonies by Children and by their Mothers on the 2021 Aggression on Gaza

We Saw Death With Our Own Eyes

The second day of the feast, the happy Fitr feast as it is called, was the worst day in my life. After a horrific day of artillery bombardment night and day and the news of massacres and destruction, I prepared the place where my children can sleep. They had not calmed down even for a minute, asking about the feast and their new clothes and about our visitors whom we were deprived of seeing.

I talked to them and told them that the feast will come and we will compensate all these difficult days when the enemy stops its terrible war. I told them that we will visit our relatives and wear the clothes of the feast and go to entertainment places that are becoming fewer in our city and even all around Gaza.

Back to that night, the media warned that the Zionists who are war criminals are threatening Gaza with destruction and death. My husband and I were thinking do we sleep next to each other or each one alone because of any emergency, God forbid, so that we will not be hit together. We were studying all the corners of the house like an engineer who wants to add a décor for his house. We studied it to see which places and corners are safest for us and our children. We decided to sleep in the hall which we saw as the safest place, although knowing for sure that there is no safe place. There was no electricity, the children slept after a lot of trouble because they did not sleep in their usual places. They put their fingers in their ears to shield them from the strong, heavy sound of artillery bombardment so that some sleep can go into their tiny bodies.

There was quietness for a short while. My husband and I fell asleep next to our children and each one had his phone in his hand. Suddenly, and with no prior warning, the sound of continuous explosions became very close. All the neighbors were screaming and no one could sleep any more. There was bombardment the likes of which we did not hear or even seen in horror movies. The whole area became red and the smoke colored the place. The sound of the explosions was not normal, more than 50 rockets in the same place. Screams and shouting combined with the sound of the ambulance and the fire extinguisher cars, the bombardment was all over the area of Beit Hanoun.

All areas were being bombarded with heavy explosives. We were so scared that we were sitting in a corner on top of one another, mentioning God because He only sees us and hears us at this time. The sound of glass and the dust of destruction and smoke were flying everywhere.

More than half an hour of continuous death hit all of Beit Hanoun. The closest explosion was only a hundred meters far from our house, where they destroyed the mosque and the sports club. I looked at my children and thought of loss, wandering what will happen if I lost someone or they lost me.

Really there are no words to describe the horror of living these unfortunate events. When the building near our house was destroyed we decided to immediately move to my parents’ house which is in a safer area. Unfortunately the second day heavy shelling reached their area. We were afraid to go to any of the schools, as a school was badly attacked by the Israelis in 2014 aggression. So we had no choice of any safe place to go to, we had to return to our home though still extremely dangerous!
We saw death with our own eyes and saw nothing else and escaped by a miracle from an imminent death. God protected us; we saw destruction in the mosques, houses, police stations and lands. The farms of chicken and sheep did not go unharmed. Everything that is Palestinian is a target, the destruction was beyond description. We thought that it would be the last difficult scene we have to bear, but reality is different. It is our destiny to fight and resist and to be steadfast and face the aggressions on the road of liberating our occupied land, victory will come!

Abla Hamad:
The Librarian of Al Ataa’ library

I Wish My Lap Could Protect My Daughter!

I have three daughters. We lived through a difficult aggression. One night I entered my daughter’s Sarah room and saw her covering her body with nail polish. She was drawing red lines like the color of blood. I felt very angry from what I saw because it is hard to remove, However, I quickly retrieved the situation and felt curious and asked her why she did this? She said she is afraid that the occupation will bombard the house when we are inside it, as it had already bombarded many families. Sarah wants that in case the occupation bombarded the house these lines will be a sign on her body will help me to recognize her to protect her and embrace her. I wish my lap could protect her from the bombardment. I was very sad by her fears; what has become of our children who are living a terror which no one else had seen in the whole world!

I took Sarah into my lap and tried to reassure her although I did not feel this safety, maybe God will protect us and our children from this horrific aggression

Suma Shaher
(Mother of Sarah who is a member in al-Ataa library)

Horrific Days And Nights

I am the child Muhammad Naseer, I am 8 years old, and I live in Al Baali Street in Beit Hanoun. One night there was no electricity and the atmosphere was calm, I do not know until this moment what happened. Airplanes and very violent bombing started at one o’clock after midnight in our neighborhood, all the houses of the neighbors and our house were destroyed or damaged... How and why and where I do not know, what I know is that at the time I was sleeping. I did not feel except my father carrying me and walking until we reached Beit Hanoun hospital. I broke my arm, my cousin was hit by shells and the leg of a neighbor girl was cut off. For the first time I thank God that there was no electricity so I wouldn’t see what happened.
When we reached the hospital, everyone was screaming and running away and the entire neighborhood is competing to reach the hospital to find safety in it, though there was bombing next to the hospital.

It was among the most difficult days and nights which I hope will never be repeated!

Muhammad Naseer
8 years

We Will Be Under The Rubble And No One Would Find Us!

I am the child Aya Hamdan, 13 years old, I live in Beit Hanoun. My grandfather, grandmother and married uncle live on the first floor; on the second floor there is the house of my second uncle; my family and I live on the third floor. During last aggression we would go down and hide on the ground floor at my grandfather and grandmother’s flat. With the continuous horrific bombing I became more afraid as I never felt before, never before I felt this piercing fear.

I remembered scenes from the last aggression on television how the houses with many floors were being bombed over the heads of its residents, I was more horrified and I told my parents that it is better to stay in our house on the third floor. I said if we get bombed when we are on the ground floor, the whole rubble will be on top of us, if we stay on the third floor, we wouldn’t be as harmed as it is on the ground floor. There we could die when we are under the rubble and no one would know where we are and they wouldn’t even find our bodies!

After the war ended, I began to think about it. I felt that fear and a person’s closeness to death makes him weak and unable to think clearly, and that death is close to each person even if he were on the high floor.

Aya Hamdan
13 years

No Place Was Safe in Gaza!

On the third day of the attack on Gaza, the occupation forces were bombing everywhere haphazardly. My mother used to say that we live in the center of Gaza and we are safe. However, as the bombing was getting closer she insisted on my father to get out of the house because of the intensity and indiscriminate bombing that does not distinguish between one place and another.

My father said we will wait until morning. It was a difficult night, all the places were madly bombed, everywhere, even the hospital was bombed! I couldn’t sleep that night. As soon as the sun rose we took our personal belongings, which we had prepared beforehand, like school degrees and papers and some clothes and we went to the school of Beit Hanoun.

I felt sort of reassured, we spent three nights in the school, it was not easy and the bombing did not stop. Most of the people became residents of the school and there was no food or drink. My parents got in touch with my aunt, who lives close to the school, and she sent us some mattresses and food. We were supposed to visit her for the feast, but this is our enemy who deprived us of the minimum of our rights. The third night was the last as the occupation targeted it with gas bombs. My sisters Dana and Lana and me suffocated from the gas. We escaped quickly to the hospital, where we spent few hours for first aid treatment and then we went to the city of Gaza to my father’s friends. But the bombing was also everywhere. We felt like strangers in our homeland. The attack came to an end and we returned home to find the windows, doors and roof destroyed. However we thanked God in spite of the suffering that none of us got hurt and that we returned sadly but safe.

Saleh el Kafarneh
13 years


This was published by the Middle East Monitor


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