Israel kills toddler and pregnant mother in Gaza

This video shows Yahya Hassan embracing and bidding farewell to his baby daughter Rahaf in Gaza on Sunday.

“Wake up, my daughter,” the inconsolable father says, and asks relatives to “leave her with me.”

The toddler died along with her pregnant mother Nour Rasmi Hassan in an Israeli air strike.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces shot dead two Palestinian boys in Gaza on Saturday and another child in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

Israel claimed it was bombing two Hamas “weapons-manufacturing centers” after one of its anti-missile batteries intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza.

The fierce explosion of the Israeli bombs caused a nearby house in Gaza City’s al-Zaytoun neighborhood to collapse, killing Nour, who was 5 months pregnant, along with Rahaf, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, which cited medical sources.

Nour Hassan was aged 30. The father Yahya was also injured in the attack.

Senior Israeli military personnel generally acknowledge that Hamas is not firing the rockets and is attempting to prevent small groups from doing so, in line with the ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s 51-day attack on Gaza in August 2014.

But Israel asserts that Hamas is responsible for everything that happens in Gaza. While Palestinian violations of the ceasefire are extremely rare, Israel has breached it hundreds of times, according to international monitors.

Gaza boys killed

On Saturday, Israeli occupation forces shot dead two Palestinian boys near its boundary fence with the Gaza Strip, east of Khan Younis.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry named the boys as 13-year-old Marwan Barbakh and 15-year-old Khalil Othman, according to Ma’an News Agency.

Relatives of the Palestinian boy Marwan Barbakh, who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Saturday, mourn during his funeral in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, 11 October.

Abed Rahim Khatib APA images

The Palestine Red Crescent said that its medics had treated seven Palestinians shot with live rounds across the Gaza Strip, and 21 who suffered excessive tear gas inhalation on Saturday, Ma’an added.

On Friday, Israel killed six Palestinians in the same area of Gaza. The six had been protesting in solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank.

Gaza-based journalist Mohammed Omer has suggested that the desperate situation in Gaza, which remains under tight Israeli siege with little reconstruction since last year’s attack, is fueling the protests.

“When I talk to protesters they tell me: either we live in dignity or die. Israel has to realize this shift in the new generation,” Omer tweeted.

West Bank child killed

On Sunday, Israeli forces shot dead 13-year-old Ahmad Sharaka during confrontations with Palestinians near al-Bireh, a town adjacent to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The boy was hit in the neck with a live round, according to medics cited by Ma’an News Agency.

Since the start of October, 23 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces, according to figures released by the Palestinian Authority health ministry on Sunday. Ahmad Sharaka’s death, reported later, would raise the total to 24.

The ministry put the number of injured by live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets fired by Israeli forces at more than 1,100.

A Palestinian man who had been hit in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet on Thursday also died of his injuries on Saturday.

Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Aoud, 27, was injured during confrontrations with Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, Ma’an News Agency reported. Doctors said he died due to severe head trauma.

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Too shocking to take in this sweet little angel's death & her father's grief. Zionism is cruel, viscious & ugly like Nazism.

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The video clip of Mr. Hassan embracing his dead daughter reminds me of a scene from the 1974 documentary film "Hearts and Minds" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?... ). There we see a wailing Vietnamese woman trying to climb down into the still open grave of a family member killed during the Resistance War Against America, while others hold her back to prevent her from fulfilling a basic human need: to touch the ones we love.

Immediately after that scene, we see General Westmoreland rationalize American acts of murder and racism: “The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient.”

Here, too, we could, in the case of Mr. Hassan, juxtapose the above clip with Israeli rationalizations of murder and racism. And we could pluck such examples from throughout Israeli history. In 2013, for example, deputy defense minister, Eli Ben Dahan, said, “To me, they [Palestinians] are like animals, they aren’t human.”

The clip of Mr. Hassan makes the likes of Ben Dahan much more than liars. The need to dehumanize others points to cowardice or malevolence, or both.

Alas, the video clip of Mr. Hassan really needs no commentary, no juxtapositions at all. It stands alone. Pointing out with words or otherwise how his grief so viscerally expresses our humanity would come across as, well, almost banal.

Corning, NY

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.